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French Jewish Comic Fined for Slur

A Paris court reportedly has fined Jean-François Dérec, a French-Jewish comedian and promoter of anti-racism campaigns, for using racial slurs against a black man.

According to Le Parisien, Dérec, a television celebrity and stand-up comedian, last year used a pejorative word in addressing a black security guard in Paris, whom he also called “dirty.” The Paris correctional court fined Derec $2,500 last week, according to the paper.

Derec, an Ashkenazi Jew who often jokes about his Jewishness in shows, got into an argument with the security guard after the guard would not let Derec into a building in Paris in November of last year, according to Le Parisien and other media. The security guard filed a complaint against Derec two days later.

Derec, who is among the sponsors and promoters of the French anti-discrimination platform SOS Racisme, said in a court hearing in August that he cursed at the security guard but never uttered racial slurs. “I never called anyone a… I can’t even say this here in court,” he said then.

Le Parisien quoted him as calling the ruling “scandalous,” adding: “Being branded a racist, that’s the worst.” Derec has not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling, the report said.

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