Minister raps Italian PM for Obama 'tan' remark
French minister for human rights Rama Yade says Silvio Berlusconi's remark about US president-elect Barack Obama's "suntan" is not funny.
25 November 2008
OSLO – France's minister for human rights, Senegal-born Rama Yade, said Monday she was not amused by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's remark about US president-elect Barack Obama's "suntan".
Brushing aside international outrage over his initial remarks earlier this month, Berlusconi returned to the theme on Sunday. "We would all like to be tanned like Naomi Campbell and Obama," he said.
"It's apparently supposed to be a joke," Yade said during a visit to Oslo.
"You'd have to ask Barack Obama if it makes him laugh. A joke is a joke, but if it doesn't make people laugh then maybe you should stop," she added.
"It doesn't make me laugh at all. I think that since the first reactions were ones of embarrassment then there's no point in adding to it further, and Obama has other characteristics than his suntan," she added.
"The term is a little out of place because it is not a suntan," she said.
Berlusconi, who sports a permanent tan and who in his initial remarks described Obama as "young, handsome and even tanned," first dismissed his critics as "imbeciles" before upping the ante to a vulgar slang term used to convey the same idea.
[AFP / Expatica]