France's The Voice contestant under fire for controversial Facebook posts on Nice attacks
After receiving the judges and audience’s standing ovation in the French version of The Voice on Saturday for her performance of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, Mennel Ibtissem is under fire for her past social media posts allegedly supporting terrorism.
After the broadcast of the show, some internet users found old deleted Facebook posts of the singer where she spoke about the Nice attacks of 2016, Le Monde reported.
“It is almost a routine now, an attack a week. And as always, the "terrorist" takes his identifications with him,” she said, adding sarcastically, "it is true that when we prepare for a dirty move, we especially don’t forget to take our identity cards with us.”
Two weeks later, after the attack on Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, she commented: “The real terrorists are our government.”
Reactions quickly flocked, with people like French politician Valerie Boyer denouncing Ibtissem’s posts on Twitter, pointing out the fact that she was wearing the veil in the show.
After receiving huge backlash, Ibtissem took to Twitter saying that the posts were taken out of context.
“I was born in Besançon; I love France, I love my country. I obviously condemn terrorism firmly. That's the reason for my anger. How could you defend the indefensible!” she tweeted on Wednesday.
“I preach a message of love, peace, and tolerance. The evidence is my choice of singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah,” she said in another tweet. “This song perfectly illustrates the message I hope to transmit as an artist.”
But Ibtissem’s position in the popular singing show is now being compromised.
In a statement released on February 6, the Promenade Des Anges association called on TF1 to take proper action.
When asked, the network that airs the show, TF1, confirmed it is too early to answer questions about the possible departure of Ibtisse.
“We discussed with Mennel this complex situation. We are taking time to think,” Le Monde reported the studio producing the show saying.
Last night on the French radio station, RTL, Ibtissem expressed her disappointment at the idea of having to leave the show.