Controversy Over French Minister’s Playboy Cover

Marlene Schiappa, a French government minister and advocate for women’s and LGBT rights, has faced backlash from her own party for appearing on the cover of Playboy magazine. Schiappa has held her position since 2017 and is currently the Minister for the Social Economy and French Associations. The Playboy cover featured Schiappa in a white dress, accompanying a 12-page interview about her work on women’s and LGBT rights. As France’s first-ever Gender Equality Minister in 2017, Schiappa successfully pushed for new sexual harassment laws, including on-the-spot fines for men who catcall, harass, or follow women on the street.

Criticism from Political Colleagues

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne criticized Schiappa’s cover, deeming it “inappropriate, especially during this period,” according to CNN affiliate BFMTV. France is currently experiencing a political and social crisis due to President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reforms, which face widespread public opposition.

Green Party politician Sandrine Rousseau and French politician Jean Luc Mélenchon also criticized Schiappa’s appearance on the cover and President Macron’s recent interview with children’s magazine Pif Gadget. Mélenchon tweeted that France is “going off the rails.”

Schiappa Defends Her Decision

Schiappa defended her choice in a tweet, asserting that women have the right to control their bodies everywhere and all the time. She added that, in France, women are free and that she respects her detractors and hypocrites. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin supported Schiappa during a CNews interview, calling her a “woman of character” and expressing respect for her style.