The French interior minister has said that police resources were “mobilized” in reaction to a torrent of anti-Semitic comment directed at the runner-up in the Miss France beauty pageant.
“#MissFrance2021 is not an anti-Semitic competition,” Citizenship Minister Marlene Schiappa tweeted, sending her support to April Benayoum, Miss Provence and the first runner-up in this year’s Miss France contest.
Schiappa said she has filed a report with the public prosecutor about “incredibly violent anti-Semitic comments” Benayoum has been receiving on social media.
#MissFrance2021 n’est pas un concours d’antisémitisme. Tout mon soutien à April Benayoum #MissProvence cible de propos antisémites d’une violence inouïe toute la soirée après avoir évoqué ses origines. 👉🏾 J’adresse un signalement au Procureur (article 40)
— 🇫🇷 MarleneSchiappa (@MarleneSchiappa) December 20, 2020
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he was “deeply shocked” by the hate directed at the beauty queen. “We must not let anything slide. Shame on the authors. Police and gendarmerie have been mobilized,” he tweeted.
Je suis profondément choqué par la pluie d’insultes antisémites contre Miss Provence. Nous ne devons rien laisser passer. Honte à leurs auteurs. Les services de police et de gendarmerie sont mobilisés.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) December 20, 2020
Several lawmakers and regional politicians also condemned the anti-Semitic comments.
The beauty pageant concluded on Saturday night. According to French media, Benayoum was among the favorites to win and was going head-to-head in points with Miss Normandy Amandine Petit, who was ultimately crowned Miss France 2021.
During the contest, Benayoum, 21, revealed that her mother was Serbo-Croatian, and her father was Israeli-Italian. This prompted a torrent of anti-Semitic posts, most of which came from “far-right activists,” according to Voici magazine.