Paris Mayor Plans to Sue Fox News Over ‘No-Go Zone’ Claims

Fox News has provided French journalists with meaty comedy material via its claim that Paris harbors no-go zones where Sharia law is observed. But Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo isn’t laughing. In fact, she told CNN today she plans to sue Fox News for defaming the city with these claims.

“The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced (…) I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo told CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, had invited self-proclaimed terrorism expert Steven Emerson on one of its program segments in the wake of the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market in Paris as part of its coverage of those events Jan. 11.

Michael Clemente, Fox News’ Executive Vice President of News, issued a statement in response to the suit.

“We empathize with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life. However, we find the Mayor’s comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced.”

In the segment, Emerson said there were “no-go zones” in France and England entirely populated by Muslims where Sharia law ruled and police could not enter. Fox News then issued an on-air apology Jan. 12 for Emerson’s comments, admitting they were entirely false.

Fox News’ “no-go zone” story has become a running joke for French TV journalists. Canal Plus’ primetime show “Le Petit Journal” has been particularly creative in delivering sketches mocking the network’s reporting.

On Jan 19 the satirical “Journal,” hosted by Yann Barthes and inspired by Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” ran a segment with all the apologies (for insulting women, Asians and other minorities) that Fox has issued over the years. The French show also aired a parody of two Fox News reporters who visit Paris and are terrified by everything they see, even a random student sporting a beard.

Many commentators in France have also noted that Fox News’ no-go zone claims also perpetuated an anti-Islam sentiment that is already rampant in most of Europe.

In the wake of the attacks that were orchestrated by Al Qaeda and killed 17 in Paris, Murdoch tweeted: “Muslims must be held accountable until they destroy their growing jihadist cancer.” Hit by an avalanche of criticism, Murdoch then tweeted, “Certainly did not mean all Muslims responsible for Paris attack. But Muslim community must debate and confront extremism.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content