Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Everybody's Talking About....

Most anglophones hardly bother with French television. Unless you have superb French, it's hard to understand and truthfully most of the original programming is exceedingly dull. One of the programs that anglophones should know about is the wildly popular Sunday night talk show-"Tout le monde en parle" It is a talk show where people in the news are invited to face a critical panel and explain their positions. The program has wide following and averages up to a million and a half viewers each week.
Last Sunday the guest was Jean-François Mercier, the producer of the infamous Bye-Bye 2008, Radio Canada's annual new year's eve show.
There probably isn't a francophone in Quebec who hasn't seen or heard about the show and this year's edition was seen by an amazing four and a half million Quebeckers.
The show lampoons Quebec personalities and has a history of cruelly insulting anglophones and immigrants.
This year, people complained that two of the sketches crossed the line of decency. One was a mock interview of Barak Obama that made fun of the fact that he was black.
The second skit mocked Quebec personality Nathalie Simard, who for those of you who don't know, is the sister of René Simard. The two were a Donny and Marie-like tandem who as children were very popular singers in the 1980's.
At any rate it turns out that Nathalie, as a child was abused by her trusted manager, Guy Cloutier, a pedophile who repeatedly raped her for seven years.
Poor Nathalie hasn't been right since and wrote a book about her experience. For his crime Cloutier was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
The skit made fun of the fact that Miss Simard, apparently suffering an emotional breakdown, announced that she was abandoning Quebec for the Dominican Republic.
Not only was making fun of Nathalie Simard viewed as a low blow, what infuriated everyone was the fact that one of the two writers who wrote the skit was actually the daughter of the pedophile.
Yup, incredibly Veronique Cloutier, the writer, is the daughter of Guy Cloutier, pedophile.
According to Jean-François Mercier, "When you take a chance, sometimes it backfires." He claimed that he never saw anything wrong with Veronique writing the skit, as he viewed both father and daughter as distinct.
As for being a racist, Mr. Mercier defended himself by claiming that some of his best friends are black.
It made for quite a show!
I shall be reporting on future shows.

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1 comment:

  1. I think Mercier is not a racist, but his idea of what is funny or not is somewhat twisted, as is the case of Véronique and her stupid boyfriend. They seem to think that to make the lamest jokes ever is a good way to make people laugh. Then they tell us we had to take it at "another level". Sorry, it wasn't funny, that's all.

    Thinking of it, it does remind me a bit of the "This hour has 22 minutes" brand of humor, although they're a bit funnier.

    I would also say that when you write that the Bye-bye "has a history of cruelly insulting anglophones and immigrants", you are exaggerating things a bit...