Why this extract from “Loft Story” season 2 goes viral after the announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly

Why this extract from “Loft Story” season 2 goes viral after the announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly
Why this extract from “Loft Story” season 2 goes viral after the announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly

Since Monday, a sequence from season 2 of “Loft Story” has resurfaced on social networks where it is widely relayed. Posted on Instagram by Nicolas Dureau, co-founder of the media NYLON France, the video has been viewed more than 2 million times on X where one of the posts mentioning it was reshared by more than 6,000 accounts. What do we see in the images? A brutal reminder of reality for the candidates of the M6 ​​show who are supposed to be cut off from the world.

On April 21, 2002, before midnight, they were summoned by production to the confessional to learn the result of the first round of the presidential election and the qualification of Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the National Front, against the outgoing president, Jacques Chirac (RPR), for the second round.

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A few moments later, William, one of the “Lofters”, appears in front of the camera, in a torrent of tears that his sunglasses struggle to hide. “I am a black man in France (…). It’s heartwarming for me to say that I’m doing well,” confides the 22-year-old young man while the voice of a journalist from the program is heard, with a compassionate “I understand”.

“The reflex to seek roots in the small screen”

“I am disgusted to be in this country. (…) I don’t even have confidence for the second round, anyway. And I’m scared,” Julia, 20, also said in the same place, also in tears. In the meantime, Kamel, 24, chats outside with other candidates. He says that before joining the game, he took steps to vote by proxy. “I have my say. When you vote, you can speak,” he says. Then, in the confessional, he calls “all the people who could be affected by this terrible event [à] be united, [à] unite [et] to see further. We must not fall into the trap, we must remain calm.”

If this extract from a reality show broadcast more than twenty-two years ago appeared on 2024’s X and Instagram feeds, it is obviously because it resonates with current events. Namely the arrival at the top in the European elections in France of Jordan Bardella’s National Rally list and the prospect of seeing the far right come to power after Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution of the National Assembly. For one of the X users who shared the sequence, it is a “reminder of history which shows to what extent we are currently in a completely out of phase France”.

“What strikes me is this movement regularly made towards archives and a sort of memory of television. Jean-Luc Godard said: “Television creates oblivion”. But, here, we see the opposite, underlines François Jost, semiologist who has just published with Gallimard The opinion that does not speak its name – Media pluralism in democracy. We see that for every big event, we are not content to just be in the present. There is the reflex to seek roots in the small screen.”

“The risk of displeasing part of the public”

The date “April 21” has become an expression that has become part of everyday language, particularly to call for a “useful vote”. It is part of the collective memory of French people. Revisiting these images makes us aware, if necessary, of the way in which things have changed in the space of twenty years, notably with the “normalization” of the National Front, which evolved into the National Rally, in the political and media landscape. . “At the time, the shock was unanimous. We thought it was some kind of historical accident. Today, the configuration is different: one in three French people voted for the far right,” summarizes François Jost.

Nowadays, such a sequence on small French screens no longer seems possible. Moreover, “Secret Story”, the confinement program currently being broadcast on TF1, did not mention the subject in its daily newspaper on Monday. “Less for political reasons than marketing,” suggests semiologist Virginie Spies. Over the past twenty years, television has transformed, it has become more marketized. There would be a risk of displeasing part of the public. The stakes are such that we would no longer allow ourselves this kind of thing. In 2002, M6 was growing but was not the channel we know today. She was looking for an audience. In 2024, when we are TF1 and in entertainment, we must do as little politics as possible to avoid controversies. »

That M6 and the production company Endemol broke the rules of “Loft Story” by informing candidates of what was happening outside gives an idea of ​​“the explosion”, according to Virginie Spies, who represented the accession of Jean-Marie Le Pen to the second round of the presidential election. ” There, [l’arrivée en tête du RN aux européennes] was more expected. There is a habituation to these things,” she emphasizes.

“‘Loft Story’ was still an experiment”

“If we had announced this news in “Secret Story”, it could have provoked real discussions and shouting matches, imagines François Jost. There would not be this kind of unanimity that there was in 2002. When Kamel declares that “it’s a terrible event”, no one tells him that he is exaggerating. There was consensus. Today, it would be harsher, more violent, because there would inevitably be people for the RN and others against. TF1 wanted to make a more consensual “Secret Story”, without scandal, where parents can watch with their children, there, this would bring into the house all the dissensions that we can see outside and this would be very negative for the channel “.

“Season 2 of “Loft Story” was still experimental,” recalls Virginie Spies. The first season was widely criticized for parodying reality, for giving an erroneous image of youth, so the show had changed its communication. And since we were still in the experiment, we could take risks. »

“Entertainment is less politicized today”

So times have changed. “Risks” are now taken on social networks. These, unlike a TV channel, are not concerned with being “unifying”, as François Jost notes. If, from now on, part of the public expects public figures to take a position, these are done, in a personal capacity, via an Instagram story, a post on X or a video on TikTok, but without engaging the shows where they appear.

“Entertainment, in general, is much less politicized than it was a few decades ago. We could regularly see rants in TV shows.entertainmentnow, it’s much rarer,” notes Virginie Spies.

Of course, there are exceptions. A program like “Drag Race France”, also produced by Endemol and whose season 3 is currently being broadcast on France 2, is partly political when it addresses themes such as homophobia, transphobia or same-sex parenting, but he leaves party politics aside.

Taking a position in story

This does not prevent, for example, Nicky Doll, who presents the show, from expressing her opinions to her subscribers. On Wednesday, she shared an article from Release recounting the trial of a homophobic attack perpetrated on Sunday in Paris. Among the four ultra-right activists who were on trial, one of them declared in police custody “Hopefully in three weeks, we will be able to destroy the PD as much as we want”. “Take care of you loves. it begins. This is what it’s like to open the door. If we take the present for granted we quickly find ourselves in the past,” commented Nicky Doll.

It is therefore more likely on their social networks that the participants of the new generation “Secret Story” – which will end Tuesday evening with the final – will possibly give their opinions on the French political situation. They will then be able to reconnect with the news and discover that the generation which was their age at the time of season 2 of “Loft Story”, the 35-49 year olds, have, according to an Elabe survey for BFMTV, RMC and La Tribune Sundayvoted 36% for the National Rally in the European elections.



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