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Mr Rude will be French & smelly

(Image from the Sun)

Nothing to see with advertising, but sometimes you come accross something that leaves you speechless. I used to love the Mister Men. I had them all when I was little.

But come on! Why so much hatred? Did one of the creators have his girlfriend cheating on him with a French dude? Is that a cheap shot at revenge?

Are French people the only target that is still considered as politically correct to poke fun out?

A Five spokesman said: “The fact Mr Rude has a French accent is meant to be light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek, and no offence to the French.”

The character even invites children to pull his finger – and then breaks wind.

Let’s remember the target audience here:

“Mr Men is a comedy show for four to seven-year-olds.

It’s true that kids nowaday are a lot more mature than they were in my time and I’m sure a 4 year old will be able to understand the subtelty and the second degree of it all, and that it’s in no way a real representation of how French people really are (ahem).

But they were apparently right to do so, they have a very good excuse indeed:

The show’s makers Chorion said the English view of the French as impolite was well-known.

Alright then! That’s ok to be a little racist, but only if everyone thinks the same. I guess Mr Drunk, Mr Chav and Miss Asbo would have been harder to market.

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  1. Val
    February 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Hi there!

    I totally agree with you!

    I am french, married to an englishman and living in France.
    I also lived in London for 7 years.
    I teach English to 6 year-old children.I often use Mr Men characters to introduce adjectives in my lessons.
    My students love them!
    How am I going to explain that Mr Rude has a French accent?!?

    I don’t want to think that toddlers in England will be growing up believing the French are a bunch of rude smelly loud people.
    It was bad enough that we wore silly bérets and carried french sticks at all times…
    It makes me feel as sad as I once heard an English tourist saying: “France is a beautiful country! Pity about the French!”
    ??????
    I take every opportunity in my courses to explain about British culture,to develop links with British and American schools and take my students to England every year.
    I even try to correct the “English bad food” stereotype in organizing “English breakfasts”! (By the way, my best meal ever was in a restaurant in Edinburgh, not in a château down south of France.)

    I can take the joke about the rudeness as an adult, yes, we too have a sense of humour! But I will still give a bad mark to the media group “Chorion” today!
    After all, politeness all comes down to education and personality not nationality!

    “Bonne journée” to all Frogs and Roastbeefs!

    XXXX

  2. March 5, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    No worries! Children are very unikely to bump into this book, after all, aren’t all 4 year-old English children hanging around in pubs, binging till they trow up, half naked in the street? Or is that me again with my stereotypes!?!

  3. Paul Wotherwell
    April 17, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    If the French could kick the habit of calling us “Perfide Albion” whenever we have a little success, that might be a start to improving relations.

    But as Alan Bennett says:

    They won’t though, will they?

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