French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles has published an apology following backlash against it featuring musician Bertrand Cantat, a convicted murderer, on its cover. The singer was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, actor Marie Trintignant, in 2003 and served four years in jail. He was formerly the lead singer of band Noir Désir and is currently promoting a new album.
The cover features a photo of Bertrand overlaid with the coverline “Cantat en son nom”, referencing a legal expression meaning “in his own name”. French Elle responded by featuring a photo of Marie on its cover in a layout designed to echo Les Inrockuptibles, the coverline stating “Au nom de Marie” or “In the name of Marie”. Inside the issue it published an article in support of women who have endured domestic violence, saying her face has become a symbol “all the female victims of the violence of men”. The article by Dorothée Werner continues: “It will take more than the obscene media of Bertrand Cantat (The Inrockuptibles of October 11) to extinguish your flame.”
In its response letter, The Inrockuptibles admits it had unintentionally “revived a suffering” but has “always fought against violence against women, against sexism and for equality between the sexes”. It continues: “Some will then ask how conceivable, without being schizophrenic, to dedicate a cover to Bertrand Cantat? The answer is complex. For some, it is even inaudible. In The Inrockuptibles, we do journalism. It is our job, our passion. And journalism sometimes requires questioning the shadows, going beyond borders and evidences, whatever they may be… Covering it was questionable. To those who have felt hurt, we express our sincere regrets.”
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