French-African teen wins beauty pageant, igniting national uproar
12/12/2013, 2:03 p.m.
A radiant French teenager whose mother hails from Benin was crowned Miss France on live TV, thrilling those who acknowledge the diverse population of the European nation.
Flora Coquerel, who is from Orléans, France, was voted Miss France 2014 by a combination of votes from the TV audience, estimated at 8.2 million viewers, and a celebrity jury.
Within minutes of the crowning, social media outlets were inundated with comments, many of which were racist. A portion of the comments were horrifying: “I’m not a racist, but shouldn’t the Miss France contest only be open to white girls?” and “Death to foreigners.”
Last month, the pageant’s former lifetime president, movie star Alain Delon, resigned after it was revealed he supported the National Front, France’s far-right, anti-immigration party.