Marine warfare over Madge’s swastika montage

France’s far right leader Marine Le Pen will consider suing Madonna if she uses a video depicting the Front National president with a swastika on her face during performances in France.

The image was shown on a huge screen at a concert the US singer gave in Israel, while she performed the song Nobody Knows Me.

In the video, the faces of several world personalities appeared including Pope Benedict, the Chinese leader Hu Jintao and the US politician Sarah Palin. Themontage then briefly showed Le Pen’s eyes and forehead with a swastika superimposed on her face, before her portrait appeared followed by an image resembling Adolf Hitler.

The provocative stunt at the Tel Aviv concert brought furious reactions in France. Le Pen warned: “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting for her.”

A party official told the newspaper 20 Minutes the Front National’s lawyer was looking at possible legal action.

Madonna, 53, is due to give a concert in Paris on July 14, France’s national day, and in Nice on August 21 as part of her 80-concert world tour covering 30 countries.

Ageing singers
“It’s understandable when ageing singers who need publicity go to such extremes,” Le Pen said. “Her songs don’t work any more.”

Even the Socialist government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the assimilation of Le Pen with Hitler was regrettable.

Critics of the the Front National, however, pointed out that in January a leading member of the party produced a caricature of former president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a Nazi uniform.

Le Pen, who came third with just under 18% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election in April, has been attempting to distance her party from supporters who hold Nazi sympathies, inherited from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In Le Parisien newspaper, she hit back at Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi. “By the way, has Madonna given back the children she stole from Africa? Or did she end up buying them?” she asked.

Le Pen is hoping the Front National will pick up parliamentary seats in the two-round general election on June 10 and 17.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders