Voodoo doll has Sarkozy reaching for his lawyer
FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images Nicolas Sarkozy has no trouble laying the smack down on Somali pirates, but it seems his coat of armor is a wee bit thin when he’s the brunt of a joke. A voodoo doll, bright blue and crafted in his image, has the French president throwing a tantrum. The doll, put out ...
FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Nicolas Sarkozy has no trouble laying the smack down on Somali pirates, but it seems his coat of armor is a wee bit thin when he’s the brunt of a joke. A voodoo doll, bright blue and crafted in his image, has the French president throwing a tantrum.
The doll, put out by K&B publishing company earlier this month, comes complete with a set of pins and a voodoo manual that instructs users how to cast a spell. The doll’s body is decorated with quotes of Sarkozy’s most unpopular quips. Across the doll’s pelvic area is the word “scum”, the term which sparked much controversy when he used it to describe suburban youth shortly before riots broke out in 2005.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, has threatened to sue K&B and insisted the 20,000 dolls be removed from the shelves. “Nicolas Sarkozy has charged me with reminding you that he commands an exclusive and absolute right over his image,” Thierry said. “Regardless of his status and fame.”
The French are known to be a proud people, but a man who styles himself as a superhero head-of-state — uniting countries in a single conference, rescuing captured yachters, and swiftly managing Europe’s economic crisis — shouldn’t be so easily shaken.
American politicians seem to have much greater experience with the mock-a-politician-with-a-stupid-toy market. Loath as I am to suggest it, this might be an area where Sarkozy could learn a thing or two from George W. Bush — who certainly knows how to take a joke in stride. Though one wishes the U.S. president hadn’t had quite so many opportunities to practice such a talent.
Rebecca Frankel was an editor at Foreign Policy from 2013-2018.
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