A French singer whose music video about the “yellow vest” anti-government protests went viral on social media has rejected accusations that her song is anti-Semitic.
Marguerite, 28, performs the song while dancing with a group of women and children on a roundabout, most of whom are wearing high-visibility jackets.
The lyrics express sympathy for the “yellow vests”, ironically describing them as “the bad guys” while referring to the police who tear-gassed the protesters as “the nice guys”.
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The song is a pastiche of a 1975 hit by Michel Fugain, a French pop star, called “Les Gentils, les Méchants” (The Nice Guys and the Bad Guys).
The lyric that has attracted most criticism is: “ENA, Rothschild and Bercy are the nice guys” – “ENA” is the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, the elite French college attended by Emmanuel Macron, the president, “Rothschilds”, the bank where he worked, and “Bercy”, the nickname for the finance ministry where Mr Macron served as economy minister.
“Les Gentils, les Méchants” Marguerite Les Circonstances #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/LQxgHvDnyU
— SUD MPLR (@SUD_MPLR) January 2, 2019
Marguerite denies that her version of the song has anti-Semitic undertones. “Certain people have seen anti-Semitism in my words,” she said. “Anti-Semitism is a sentiment of hatred that is totally foreign to me.”
In what many have interpreted as another irony, the song is dedicated to two prominent Jews — Bernard-Henri Levi, the French author and philosopher, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a May 1968 student protest leader, broadcaster and former MEP.
Both have both spoken out against the “yellow vest” protests and many comments posted on social media have accused Marguerite of anti-Semitism.
On Facebook, Bob Tongshort commented: “We are clearly in an anti-Semitic allusion.”
However, other posts rejected the allegations of racism. “Your comment is very Orwellian,” another user, ‘Gégé’, replied. “Is describing reality anti-Semitic?”