French presenter humiliates gay men live on TV with fake online profile

Cyril Hanouna called the men live on air, and mocked them with a feminine voice and over-the-top camp gestures. 

French TV presenter Cyril Hanouna has received backlash after humiliating gay men live on air during a homophobic prank.

During his segment Touche Pas A Mon Poste (Don’t Touch My TV set), Hanouna called men after making a fake profile on a gay dating app, using a feminine tone of voice with overly camp gestures.

The men on the phone were also baited into revealing their sexual fantasies, unaware that they were being pranked live on air to 1.7 million people.

YouTube star Max Emerson’s torso was used as the profile picture – without his permission – and he has since spoken out about it on social media, tweeting: “I hope he learns a lesson.”

Joël Deumier, president of SOS Homophobie, French association for the protection of LGBT people, considered the segment “scandalous, shameful and homophobic.”

“When you let people get away with behaviour like this, you trivialise homophobic discourse. The sketch was deeply homophobic and you would have to be aware of it.”

Since the backlash, Hanouna said: “Homophobia is everything I’ve been fighting against for years, just like xenophobia, racism and misogyny, and today being called homophobic makes me feel really sad.”

This isn’t the first time the show has come under fire for homophobia. A group of French journalists studied the show over a 4 week period and discovered that the show mentioned homosexuality 42 times, often in a demeaning and derogatory manner.

In just a year, the show has received nearly 6,500 complaints.

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