“The old boomers, reactive and racist, they piss us off.” On Wednesday, at the microphone of RTL, Benjamin Biolay reacted to the controversy over the potential presence of Aya Nakamura at the Olympics ceremony, claiming to have “fell astounded” upon learning that she had been the prey of the far right since A few days.

“I think Aya Nakamura singing Piaf can be beautiful! It can be an incredible thing because she sings it really well, said the singer. But hey, they [“the fascists”] will always say that she sings badly anyway. It’s not their problem, the truth. The idea is to pit people against each other.”

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Since the newspaper L’Express revealed “Emmanuel Macron’s secret demands for the 2024 Olympics” and the potential participation of the Franco-Malian singer in the opening ceremony, criticism from the far right has been growing against Aya Nakamura. “I heard Sébastien Chenu (RN), who is the vice-president of the National Assembly anyway, who said that he would have preferred Lara Fabian – who I really like – but she is Belgian-Canadian,” continues Benjamin. Biolay. So really, he said ‘I’m racist’.” For Marion Maréchal, the representative of the Reconquête (RN) party, “Aya Nakamura does not sing French”. “It’s a political choice,” she explained on BFM TV. We want to represent multicultural France, the France that does not sing French.”

“The fascists are tearing it apart in every direction,” Benjamin Biolay was indignant. I don’t feel protected, this young woman [Aya Nakamura].” But the 28-year-old singer ended up speaking out too. On social networks, she responds to the Natifs, a small ultra-right group which published a banner on which we can read “There’s no way Aya, this is Paris, not the Bamako market”. “You can be racist but not deaf… That’s what hurts you,” she exclaimed. I become a number 1 state subject in debates, etc. But what do I really owe you? Kedal (nothing at all).” Benjamin Biolay took the opportunity to underline the “courage” of the singer “who does not allow herself to be impressed” by these attacks.

“Don’t come and spoil the party for us, once again,” said Benjamin Biolay. The old boomers who are reactive and racist, they piss us off.” He’s not the only one who thinks so. Many personalities have defended Aya Nakamura, the French singer most listened to abroad. Tuesday, during a conference, Alexandre Lasch, the head of Snep, recalled the presence of the singer “in the top sales charts of 46 countries”, affirming that she is “an instrument of French soft power” and that “ unworthy controversies will not change anything.”

For her part, during a general hearing held Tuesday before the Committee on Culture, Education, Communication and Sport, Rachida Dati, the Minister of Culture warned against “pretexts for attacking someone out of pure racism”. “Attacking an artist for who she is is unacceptable. “It’s a crime,” she exclaimed. On social networks, Amélie Oudea-Castera, the Minister of Sports also reacted, giving her support to the singer: “No matter how much we love you, dear Aya Nakamura, don’t care about the whole world.”

The Franco-Congolese singer Dadju, one of the heavyweights of RnB in France, spoke on X, accusing the Natives of “lynching the biggest artist in the country with CM1 arguments. It wasn’t even a fight but now, she has to sing, we will support, he wrote. It’s not Bamako, it’s not Bamako. Bunch of dogs.”