Paris Prosecutor Opens Investigation Into Antisemitic Abuse of French Beauty Queen on Social Media
The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday that it had opened an investigation into the flood of antisemitic abuse received on social media by April Benayoum, who came second in the Miss France 2021 contest over the weekend.
Benayoum — who revealed during the competition that she has an Israeli father — was competing as Miss Provence. Her Israeli connection, however, prompted a vicious outbreak of antisemitism, with tweets calling for her exclusion because of her Jewish heritage and others that declared, “Hitler forgot to exterminate you, Miss Provence.”
Following the Paris prosecutor’s announcement, France’s minister of citizenship said the investigation sent a clear signal to the perpetrators of the abuse against the 21-year-old beauty queen.
“It tells them that you can’t utter these kinds of antisemitic remarks without consequences, since they will, I hope, be prosecuted,” the minister, Marlène Schiappa, said.
The broadcaster and producers of the Miss France contest roundly condemned the abuse directed at Benayoum, who is in her fourth year of business in the French town of Aix-En-Provence.
“TF1, EndemolShine France and the organization Miss France strongly condemn the hateful and antisemitic remarks made last night on social networks against April Benayoum,” they said in a statement. “All our support to Miss Provence, first runner-up of Miss France 2021”.
The winner of the contest, Amandine Petit, similarly deplored the attacks on Benayoum.
“It’s extremely disappointing, I didn’t think it was still possible to say such things in this day and age,” she said. “These racist and antisemitic comments have no place in a beauty contest, it’s extremely inappropriate. I support April Benayoum.”