France Inter programs disrupted by strike in support of comedian

France Inter programs disrupted by strike in support of comedian
France Inter programs disrupted by strike in support of comedian

France Inter programs were disrupted on Sunday May 12 due to a strike against the suspension of comedian Guillaume Meurice, decided recently by the management of Radio France and while the government must carry out its major merger project on Tuesday May 14. public broadcasting at the Assembly.

“Due to a call for a strike by all the trade union organizations representing Radio France filed in defense of freedom of expression, we are not able to broadcast all of our usual programs”warns France’s leading radio station on its website.

As always in the event of a strike, public radio broadcasts music instead of its usual programs. However, the morning programs are not disrupted on the public group’s other radio stations, including -, France Culture, France Musique or the local France Bleu branches.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers At France Inter, journalists and producers worry about their freedom of expression

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Thursday summons of the comedian

With this first mobilization, the Radio France unions (CGT, CFDT, FO, SNJ, Sud and UNSA) intend to protest against “the repression of insolence and humor” after the suspension of the columnist, as well as against the ” sacrifice “ of France Inter broadcasts while management prepares the schedule for the next school year.

Figure of Charline Vanhoenacker’s show “Le Grand Dimanche soir”, Guillaume Meurice was removed from the air on May 2 pending a possible sanction which could go as far as dismissal. A measure taken four days after he reiterated his controversial comments about Benjamin Netanyahu made on October 29, 2023.

He then compared the Israeli prime minister to a “kind of a Nazi but without a foreskin”, which led to accusations of anti-Semitism and the filing of a complaint, which was recently dismissed. The comedian, supported by the team of his show, is summoned to a first interview with human resources on Thursday.

The audiovisual regulator, Arcom, sent a warning to Radio France in the fall. The Minister of Culture Rachida Dati ruled on Tuesday that the public group “couldn’t not react”, after the repetition of the disputed remarks by Mr. Meurice. This matter may, however, “ask about freedom of expression”admitted the minister.

Read also | Guillaume Meurice, suspended by Radio France, receives support from Charline Vanhoenacker during his weekly show

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Sophia Aram denounces the “hijacking of a public channel for personal purposes”

But, despite the support, in the middle of the war in Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, his joke was variously appreciated on Radio France. She was thus condemned on several occasions by the comedian Sophia Aram, another figure of France Inter.

Sunday, she relayed online, Sophia Aram denounced a “diversion of a public antenna for personal purposes”. “Everything is permitted when it comes to making a martyr of “Che Guevara of the committed sidewalk microphone”, assisted in this task by a management determined to make this consummate rupture a torture”she wrote.

The suspension of Guillaume Meurice is also part of the government’s public broadcasting reform project, examined from Tuesday in committee at the National Assembly.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers Public audiovisual: a reform lacking a defined objective

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It provides for a two-stage merger of France Télévisions, Radio France, France Médias Monde (RFI, France 24) and the INA (National Audiovisual Institute): firstly a holding company overseeing these companies from 1er January 2025, then a merger on 1er January 2026. It is contested by the unions of France Télévisions and Radio France, where another strike is announced for May 23 and 24.

Regarding the concerns of the unions for the program schedule, the Society of Journalists (SDJ) and producers (SDPI) of the antenna recently denounced “an editorial shift” of France’s leading radio station, against a backdrop of budgetary savings. The “Earth squared” environmental program must notably evolve. “It’s the usual grid work and it’s still light”we assure the management side.

The World with AFP

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