You might not be a fan of Laurent Ruquier, but there’s no denying his work ethic and prodigious output.
Just take a look at his (English) Wikipedia profile, “Television and radio host, producer, and satirical comedian. He is also a lyricist, writer, playwright and producer of shows, and owns his own theatre.”
The 53-year-old is probably best known for his weekly show on France 2 - “On n'est pas couché”.
It’s a talk show - a mix of cultural, social, sport and political elements — in which invited guests are given a grilling (or positive critique, depending on the mood of his two “Rottweiler” co-presenters - currently Yann Moix and Vanessa Burggraf)
Over the years there have been some pretty heated exchanges, particularly when the two Érics - Zemmour and Naulleau - worked alongside Ruquier. And some celebrities have refused to appear on the programme to promote whatever book, record or film they had just released or participate in a political discussion.
And then there’s the daily programme on RTL radio “Les Grosses Têtes” in which, since 2014 when he moved to the station from Europe 1, Ruquier is joined by several members of his (faithful) band of “commentators” to take a light-hearted look at some news items and, in a semi-quiz format, determine which famous figures (past and present) might have uttered particular phrases and compete against listeners in an audience challenge.
|Laurent Ruquier (screenshot from RTL radio’s "Les Grosses Têtes")|
It’s not meant to be too earnest, although sometimes serious issues can be addressed, albeit in a supposedly good-humoured and good-natured way.
But listening to last Sunday’s special (a round-up of the previous week’s highlights) you will have heard Ruquier come out with the most bizarre of statements.
It was almost (but not quite) a defence of US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s behaviour after the release of a tape in which he had bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy”, the media reaction there had been to the tape and Trump’s subsequent “locker room talk” apology.
“Heaven knows, I’m not for Trump,” Ruquier said (at around 18 minutes into the programme)…making it easy for listeners to guess that there was about to be some sort of justification for the US presidential candidate’s conduct.
“But frankly I’ll defend him - just a little. I think what was done to him last week was disgusting”, he continued, seemingly swallowing Trump’s line that he had in fact been the “victim”.
“If you take any guy who is talking to another guy and record them while they’re talking about women, there would have been exactly the same result.” (Does that argument sound familiar?)
“And the same is true for two women talking about men.” (Add your own exclamation marks).
Now - purely opinion - and not a particularly well-informed one at that. But where exactly does Ruquier get his valuable information from?
First up - to state the obvious - he’s a man.
So as such, even though he is a gay man, he cannot possibly have had “all-girl chats” - or even know how they talk about men and/or sex when there’s no man around.
Somehow though, he seems not to have grasped that fact - because…?
Well, you answer it.
Then there’s the locker-room talk aspect: as though such language and behaviour is somehow acceptable, excusable, understandable and…whatever this might mean… “normal”.
The two women invited to participate in that particular edition of the show, former Brazilian model turned TV presenter Cristina Cordula and US-born French, singer, actress, director and model (gasp - a “multi-talent”) Arielle Dombasle weren’t entirely (to put it mildly) in agreement with his “analysis”.
But, for the sake of humour and entertainment, their views were dismissed by the show’s host and the other male panellists as they, in time-honoured tradition, maintained that women’s conversations were “just as bad, if not worse.”
M Ruquier - from one man to another, might I suggest that you keep away from a subject about which you can have little or no real knowledge and, while you’re at it, take a listen to the speech US first lady Michelle Obama made in New England last Thursday.
Just in case you missed it, here it is…. in its entirety.
It should, hopefully, make you realise that not only are you very wrong. It might also help you understand that a microphone and a celebrity status do not give you the right to express views that are so ill thought-out and have no substance.