A French magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, issued an apology on Saturday after the publication was decried by several French government officials across the political spectrum for using racial slur against a Black lawmaker.
The legislator in the image, Danielle Obono from the far-left party Defiant France, said that the publication, which mainly caters to the far-right audience, takes a blow at the face of those who complain that free speech is threatened by the fight against racism and sexism.
Obono took to Twitter to condemn the racist depiction in the magazine and said, "It seems 'That We-Can-Could-Nothing-Say' #BienPensance. Fortunately, we can still write racist shit in a tea towel illustrated by the images of a black African French MP repainted as a slave ... The extreme right, odious, stupid and cruel. In short, equal to itself." (translated from French)
However, Tagdual Denis, the Deputy Editor of Valeurs Actuelles, on the other hand, claimed that the image was not intended to hurt Obono and it was surely not a try to gain attention.
He further added that he regrets the image in which the magazine is being painted on social media due to the picture controversy. "If we firmly dispute the accusations [...], we also have enough clairvoyance to understand that Danièle Obono could have felt personally hurt by this fiction. We regret it and apologize to him," he said.
"What I regret is that we are always accused of racism ... we are politically incorrect, it''s in our DNA," the letter read.
France PM condems
Prime Minister Jean Castex from the conservative Republicans party tweeted: "This revolting publication calls for unambiguous condemnation. ... The fight against racism will always transcend our differences."
Also, Elisabeth Moreno, the junior minister for equality and the only Black member of the French government, who has rarely been on the same page as Obono also offered support to her on this matter and tweeted, "I don''t share Danielle Obono''s ideas, but today I offer her all my support."
The European country saw multiple protests in June and July against racial injustice and police brutality inspired by the 'Black Lives Matter' outrage and protests over black man George Floyd's death at the knee of police in the United States.
French President Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who raised eyebrows when he gave an interview to Valeurs Actuelles last year, pledged to root out racism. But he also insisted that France will not take down statues of figures linked to the colonial era or the slave trade, as has happened in other countries in recent months.