French Culture Guide

French Culture in New York, with a Touch of Paris

Le Pen vs. Madonna

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The political universe is full of famous adversaries: Nero and Britannicus, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, Trotsky and Lenin, Bush and Gore – the list goes on. But Jean-Marie Le Pen and Madonna? That is a combination yet unimagined.


 Conflict between the infamous French ultra-conservative and the iconic American pop star exploded when Madge screened a video during a recent performance in Tel Aviv which flashed images of controversial political and religious leaders from around the world, among them the Pope, Sarah Palin, Hu Jintao, and Le Pen’s daughter (and recent National Front presidential candidate), Marine. The particular photograph of Marine included a swastika superimposed on her forehead, implying ideological ties between her and Adolf Hitler. This is, no doubt, due to both of the Le Pens’ strict nativist platforms, which some French citizens have come to characterize as quasi-fascist.


 Papa Le Pen has recently gone on record, suggesting that his daughter collect $1 million U.S. dollars in reparations from the pop star, with Marine adding “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting for her.”


 While Marine has attempted to separate herself from her father’s more extreme and controversial political ideals (including many of his anti-Semitic and openly racist comments), one of the few modern French politicians who remains vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage will have a tough P.R. battle to fight if she wants to be taken seriously as a viable candidate. That said, it seems as if something is working, because she one nearly 18 percent of the public vote in the first round of the most recent presidential elections in France. When all’s said and done, however, we are all well aware that the French love their classic American pop stars, so it cannot help things in the Le Pen camp now that Madonna has come out in blatant opposition to their policies.


 Madonna has not responded to the Le Pens’ demands as of yet.


By Jake Flanagin