11:52 16.04.2019

French ambassador to Ukraine upset by political expert Berezovets' joke about Notre Dame fire

2 min read
French ambassador to Ukraine upset by political expert Berezovets' joke about Notre Dame fire

French Ambassador to Ukraine Isabelle Dumont has said she is upset by the joke of Ukrainian political expert and Pryamiy TV channel talk show host Taras Berezovets, who made a joke about the fire at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral after the recent visit of showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky to Paris.

Berezovets, who openly supported incumbent President Petro Poroshenko during the presidential election campaign, said on Facebook, "Macron was very lucky, because after Zelensky's visit only the Notre Dame Cathedral burned down. The Élysée Palace could have gone up in flames."

The post upset the French ambassador.

"You should be ashamed of yourself. Shame," Dumont said on Twitter in response to Berezovets' post.

Berezovets later deleted his post.

"I did not mean to offend anyone. The joke about the cathedral in my post was merely an inept metaphor, and therefore I deleted the joke from my previous post," he said.

Berezovets apologized, saying, "The joke went too far."

"Was the joke too crass? Yes, it was. But, honestly, how is it different than 90% of the jokes delivered by Kvartal 95 [a Ukrainian film studio where Zelensky is a screenwriter, actor and director]?" the journalist and political expert said.

Berezovets also mentioned the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, which publishes various kinds of cartoons, reports and discussions.

"The notorious French publishing house Charlie Hebdo a few years ago was the target of a terrorist attack because of its controversial publications. However, no one questioned the right of journalists to express their opinion. How does my right as a Ukrainian journalist differ from the rights of my French counterparts?" Berezovets wondered.

The fire in Paris that devastated large parts of the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral took hours to extinguish. One firefighter was seriously injured battling the blaze.

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