A French MP Thursday proposed to bring a bill to the parliament against ‘glottophobia’ – regional linguistic discrimination – after a politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon mocked a journalist’s southern accent. The journalist questioned him at France’s National Assembly.
A French Leftist leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has been under fire for allegedly misusing European parliamentary funds to pay party employees. He was questioned by anti-graft authorities. His house and party office were also raided by the French police Tuesday.
The leader of the far-Left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) movement and a former presidential candidate in 2017, Mélenchon was caught on camera being rude to a journalist with a southern accent who asked him a question on Wednesday.
“Can someone ask me a question in French? And (make it) a bit more understandable…,” Melenchon said, addressing a group of reporters in the video clip widely circulated on social media, reported news agency AFP.
A day later, parliamentarian Laetitia Avia announced the tabling of a bill to outlaw “glottophobia”.
Parle-t-on moins français avec un accent ? Doit-on subir des humiliations si on a pas d’intonations standardisées ? Pcq nos accents sont notre identité, je dépose, avec des députés @LaREM_AN, une proposition de loi pour reconnaitre la glottophobie comme source de discrimination💪 pic.twitter.com/dcy3mKiVXj
— Laetitia Avia (@LaetitiaAvia) October 18, 2018
“Do we speak French any the less with an accent. Must one suffer humiliation if one doesn’t speak standard French? Because our accents are our identity, I am tabling a bill to recognise glottophobia as a source of discrimination,” Laetitia Avia tweeted.
According to the MP’s proposal, regional accents — whether they be from the south, from Paris, the city’s suburbs or elsewhere — are “an integral part of many French people’s identity”.