Just as people were getting over the gun-point robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris, news of another violation from France has shocked the world.
In a popular French TV show, the TPMP, the million-dollar robbery was enacted on Live TV. After the enactment, the Kardashian lookalike Soraya Riffy was asked to thank her saviour — one of the panelist, Jean-Michel Maire, by giving him a kiss. The woman denied to kiss him on air and repeatedly said no to the show presenter Cyril Hanouna, who kept on urging her to comply. Hanouna even asked Riffy to explain why she turned down the request.
After moments of ridiculing and petty jokes, where they even suggested that the kiss could take place “back stage” and the host offered to hide the duo during the kiss, a bizarre incident shocked the world. As Riffy turned away her face not wanting to be kissed on her cheek, Maire turned down and without any warning kissed her breast!
The outrageous gesture very well qualifies as sexual harassment on a live TV show. The shocking incident immediately gained attention and led to a public outcry across the world on all social media platforms. The French TV and Radio regulatory authority, CSA received over 250 complaints, one even from France’s minister for women’s right and an enquiry has been ordered.
The minister for women’s rights, Laurence Rossignol, also took to Twitter to denounce the act. “Even in an entertainment programme, when a woman says no it means no,” she wrote, adding that she too had filed a complaint.
Même dans une émission de divertissement, quand une femme dit non c’est non. J’ai saisi le CSA de cette agression sexuelle #TPMP
— laurence rossignol (@laurossignol) October 14, 2016
The TV programme that was trying to set a record for longest continuous episode made headlines over the weekend for a different reason. The show, which streamed on the C8 channel was live for 35 hours.
However, while the world is still furious about the shocking incident, the woman came out in support of Maire and said she won’t be pressing any charges against him. Riffy took to Facebook on Friday to post a picture of herself with the panelist in question, with a text defending his crude actions. “Stop having a go at this man, he is very respectable and doesn’t deserve any punishment despite his masculine impulses,” she wrote.
On Monday, the trio – along with others – got back together to discuss the incident after the action was vehemently condemned on various social media platforms. In tears, Jean-Michel Mayor said he was extremely hurt by all this media storm: “It is true that it hurt me. My relatives know that I respect women as much as I can. I am a big heavy, I admit that readily. Sometimes I crossed the line in this heaviness and it can become an inappropriate gesture as I thought I understood, I apologise again” a report by the Public reported.
French law defines sexual assault as ‘any sexual act that involves violence, coercion, threat or surprise’, and any violator could be punished with a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of €75,000.