The creator of a neo-Nazi salute has been ordered to remove offensive segments from a YouTube video.
French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for his “quenelle” salute, a gesture compared to the modern day Heil Hitler. In a YouTube video, Dieudonne celebrates his quenelle, making the gesture several times.
Now, the Court of Grands Instances in France says the video violates a law prohibiting Holocaust denial and incitement to racial hatred, and has ordered parts of the video to be removed. As of Tuesday, the video appeared to be gone from YouTube altogether.
“In the context of previous statements by Dieudonne, some of which have earned him convictions for hate speech, defamation and incitement to anti-Semitism, it seems clear that this reference amounts to disputing a crime against humanity,” Judge Marc Bailly said, citing a portion of the video in which Dieudonne references Robert Faurisson, a Holocaust-denying academic.
The case was brought to court after the Union of Jewish Students of France petitioned for the removal last month. At that time, the video had already been viewed 3.5 million times.
The video was posted on Dieudonne’s personal YouTube account, and includes a message that 2014 will be “the year of the quenelle.”
Dieudonne has faced legal troubles several times over his racial and anti-Semitic speech.