'Manu' On Fire: France's Macron Tears Into Teen Who Calls Him By Nickname
In a video posted to Twitter Monday, the president of France tore into a teenager who called him 'Manu,' a common nickname for Emmanuel in French, during an event at a World War II memorial.
Instead of shaking the boy's hand, or taking a selfie — as he did with other crowd members, Macron proceeded to reprimand him.
"Call me 'M. President of the Republic' or 'Sir'," Macron said in the video.
He also tweeted his disapproval citing the boy's lack of respect.
"Respect, that's the minimum in the [French] Republic — especially on June 18, especially in the presence of companions of the Liberation. But that doesn't prevent us from having a civil conversation – watch till the end.," Macron said of video showing the exchange.
June 18 is the anniversary of a patriotic speech by Gen. Charles de Gaulle calling for resistance during World War II, leading to underground efforts to undermine the German occupation in France.
Responses on social media to Macron's approach reflected mixed emotions.
One user criticized Macron for publicly berating the teen.
"Humiliating a 15-year-old kid in front of millions of people just to drum up support from voters from the right, that's also Macron-ism,"@beestoufly tweeted.
Humilier un gosse de 15 balais devant des millions de personnes juste pour racoler auprès de l'électorat de droite, c'est aussi ça, le macronisme.— Ben (@beestoufly) June 18, 2018
Another supported the boy by tweeting "#Manu is NOT an insult."
"#bigmistake by @EmmanuelMacron . The #President is serving his people, and he is the #1 employee of the country. He is paid by the people to work for the people. And the people (including teenagers) have all the rights to call him the way they want. #Manu is NOT an insult.," @JordiPetrovic tweeted.
#bigmistake by @EmmanuelMacron . The #President is serving his people, and he is the #1 employee of the country. He is paid by the people to work for the people. And the people (including teenagers) have all the rights to call him the way they want. #Manu is NOT an insult.— Jordi Petrovic (@JordiPetrovic) June 18, 2018
Still, some stood behind Macron:
"But even if you don't agree with his politics, don't call a president by a nickname, he's a President of the Republic not a friend, he deserves respect," @MlleGiroud_ tweeted.
"It's not humiliating! It's about teaching the norms of society that his parent's didn't teach him!," @cal_dsrb tweeted.
C'est pas humilier! C'est apprendre les normes de la société que ses parents ne lui ont pas apprise!— Calixte de Sorbay (@cal_dsrb) June 18, 2018
Twitter trolls have decided to make light of the situation by continuing to leave various responses under several tweets, all calling Macron "Manu."
NPR's Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.