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French TV station feminist ad pulled for being sexist
Culture & Life

French TV station feminist ad pulled for being sexist

08.10.2015 From our online archive
A school of engineers in southern France called ISIS said Wednesday it ran into trouble with Canadian customs agents worried over a possible link to the jihadist group with the same initials.

(AFP) A French TV station was forced to pull an advert boasting about its feminist credentials after it met with ridicule and criticism saying the ad itself was sexist.

The 40-second spot on France 3 was designed to highlight the station's positive record on female employment, with the tagline "The majority of our presenters are women presenters". 

But in a spectacular own goal, the advert decided to illustrate its point by showing domestic chores that were going wrong without a woman around. 

It featured a series of shots of a house in disarray: a meal overheating in the oven, a child's room left untidy, an iron left to burn a shirt.

"Where are the women?" asks a popular French hit on the soundtrack.

Viewers are told that all this shameful dereliction of female duties is due to the fact that "the women" are "at France 3".

It was enough to get a response from France's minister for women's rights, Pascale Boistard, who tweeted that "it did not seem like the best way to promote equal rights".

Delphine Ernotte, head of the station's parent company, hastily ordered the advert to be yanked, but not before it had received many more criticisms on social media. 

France 3 "wants to promote feminisation of its workplace and serves us a heap of cliches," wrote Balle de Sexisme, the Twitter account of a feminist blog.

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