Sometimes a Pipe . . .

Apr 19, 2009

More than fifty years after he first appeared on-screen, it seems that Monsieur Hulot has finally quit smoking. And not voluntarily. In accordance with a 1991 law prohibiting tobacco advertising in subway stations and on buses, the Paris Public Transport Network has demanded that Hulot’s iconic pipe be removed from posters for the Cinémathèque française’s ongoing tribute to filmmaker Jacques Tati, and replaced with . . . a toy windmill. Political correction or (cough, cough) silly censorship? For details on the controversy, check out this short video item from the international news channel France 24. Apparently, even the author of the original law, former minister of health Claude Evin, has called this particular application of his edict “ridiculous.”

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