'French Eminem' Ignites Censorship Fight

Canceled concerts fuel national censorship debate
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 29, 2009 3:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – A rapper slammed for backing violence against women has sparked a censorship debate that’s reached the upper levels of France’s government, the BBC reports. OrelSan, the “French Eminem,” was dropped from a music festival after former presidential candidate Segolene Royal warned she might pull public funding. The governing party called her involvement an “intolerable” blow to freedom of expression.

OrelSan’s music is “full of hatred and violence against women,” says a regional councilwoman. “If he wants to do that, OK, but we consider that public money shouldn’t finance it.” But, one journalist argues, “art doesn’t have to be politically correct. If you censor this, you could end up censoring many respected authors.” France’s culture minister compared OrelSan to a 19th-century poet: “Rimbaud wrote much more violent things that went on to become classics.”