A French court found that comedian Nicolas Bedos was within his right to call Marine Le Pen, the leader of Front National (FN), as a “fascist b**ch” in a magazine column.
In 2012, Bedos badmouthed Le Pen in a magazine article. In turn, the leader of FN tried to sue Bedos. However, judges ruled earlier this week that Bedos had not broken the law by using the term and was protected under freedom of speech laws.
However, things get a bit confusing when one considers that another French comedian, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, was found guilty this Wednesday of condoning terrorism after he posted a Facebook message that said he felt like “Charlie Coulibaly”, suggesting his sympathy with one of the gunmen in the Paris terrorist attacks in January.
For his part, the comedian said he felt the French authorities treated him as if he was a terrorist, when in fact he was a satirist, who should have been granted freedom of speech.
“I am considered as an Amedy Coulibaly when I am not different from Charlie,” M’bala M’bala said.
From the cases of M’bala M’bala and Bedos, it appears that the concept of freedom of speech in France has several flaws: it's fine to call Marine Le Pen a “fascist b**ch” and the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has the right to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, but for some reason, one cannot write “Charlie Coulibaly” on a Facebook page.