Why angry French women sports journalists say enough is enough

French sports journalist Marie Portolano has found herself at the centre of a storm after her thought-provoking documentary ‘I’m not a slut, I’m a journalist’ aired on Canal+ on Sunday.

It has emerged the French channel censored the broadcast, removing a clip where Portolano calls out star football pundit Pierre Menes for lifting her skirt in full view of the studio audience in 2016. 

The programme included women sports journalists revealing how they face derogatory comments, lecherous advances and abuse as a matter of routine.

Reporting for France24, reporter Benjamin Dodman wrote:  “The hashtag #PierreMenesOut soon trended on social media along with clips of the pundit’s notorious antics, including video footage of him forcibly kissing two female colleagues. By then, a group of  150 female sports journalists had fired a fresh salvo in an open letter published by Le Monde.

“The open letter called for women to be ‘better represented, better protected and better value’ in sports media. It pointed to figures from France’s media watchdog, the CSA, showing that women’s voices accounted for just 13 percent of radio and TV sports coverage in France last year.


“Among the journalists who spoke out in the Canal+ documentary was Charlotte Namura-Guizonne, a former fixture of France’s most popular football show. In a series of tweets posted during the broadcast, she recalled being ‘humiliated and insulted’ during an advertising break, in full view of colleagues and the audience.

‘No sanction. No apology. Never. Traumatised and that feeling of not being protected,’ she wrote.

“As for Ménès, he was forced into a contrived apology the next evening as Canal+ sought to limit the damage. Appearing on the C8 sister channel, Ménès expressed ‘deep regret’ over the skirt incident, though he blamed the times as much as his behaviour. His gesture was ‘intolerable in the climate of 2021’, he said, lamenting the fact that, due to the MeToo movement, ‘one can no longer say or do anything’.”

Read Benjamin Dodman’s full report