Radio France head regrets gay wrestler pose
French public radio boss apologises to his colleagues for posing stripped to the waist in tattoos and a wrestler’s mask for a calendar raising funds to fight AIDS.PARIS – The chairman of French public radio admitted Wednesday he had been unwise to pose stripped to the waist in tattoos and a wrestler's mask for a calendar raising money for AIDS activism.
Jean-Paul Cluzel, head of Radio France, raised eyebrows when he appeared in the pose with his long-time boyfriend playing the role of a wrestling trainer in the 2009 calendar for the gay pressure group Act Up.
According to the investigative weekly the Canard Enchaine, President Nicolas Sarkoy was among those annoyed by a senior public official striking such a pose, raising the question that Cluzel might have harmed his career.
"I made an error of judgement and apologise to any colleagues at Radio France that were offended by it," Cluzel told the daily Le Figaro in an interview published Wednesday.
"Friends of mine suggested I pose for a calendar about the diverse range of people with tattoos, the profits of which would go to the fight against AIDS.
"I didn't want to appear in my capacity as head of Radio France, so I posed in a coloured cloth mask," he said, adding that he had thought the calendar was for an umbrella AIDS charity rather than the more radical Act Up.
"I was unwise. Without malice, Act Up decided to reveal my name and my job title," he explained, adding that he had never made a secret of his support for gay causes and had given a number of interviews on the subject.
Cluzel dismissed the Canard's reports, saying he doubted that Sarkozy - who has extended tax breaks to gay couples and whose wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has supported AIDS campaigns - would take such a matter seriously.
AFP / Expatica