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Comment embrasser une inconnue en moins de 10 secondes (How to kiss a girl stranger in less than 10 seconds) is a Youtube video depicting a radio host going in the streets and his attempts at kissing girls after asking them three questions. The scenes are presented as humorous and the fastest possible way to hit on a girl. The video went viral after an online women’s magazine wrote a piece criticizing its sexist nature and culture, leading to a French general outcry on Twitter and feminist demonstrations in front of the radio’s headquarters.
On October 16th, 2013, NRJ’s radio host Guillaume Pley uploaded a video to his Youtube channel, entitled Comment embrasser une inconnue en 10 secondes !:
In it, he is seen going in the streets of Paris, approaching girls and asking them the following three questions:
- “Est-ce que tu as un copain/un petit-ami ?” (Do you have a boyfriend?)
- “Comment tu me trouves physiquement ?” (Do you find me attractive?)
- “C’est quoi ton excuse pour ne pas m’embrasser, là, tout de suite ?” (Why are you not kissing me right now then?)
After that, he tries to kiss the girl, usually in an assertive manner, to their surprise and, sometimes, shock. A wide range of reactions is shown, from little resistance and letting him kiss to blatantly slapping him.
The video, in the first days of its upload, received mostly positive reviews from its audience composed of teenagers, the main radio’s demographic, and reached over 2 700 000 views in less than a week.
In the video description, Guillaume explains that he was inspired by other videos, in the US, Italy and Russia, from men doing similar viral videos, most notably Vitalyzdtv.
On October 21th, Online women’s magazine Madmoizelle wrote an article about this peculiar phenomenon, criticizing heavily on the light nature of forcing kisses out of women in the streets, depicting it as humor, and the sexist image given to the audience of the radio show.
On Twitter, reactions were mixed as reported by The Huffington Post. Most of the target male teen demographic thought it was a joke while many other people started criticizing its offensive nature as a way of condoning street harassment.
On the same day of the publication of the Madmoizelle article, the hashtag #TousdevantNRJ18h30 was launched to call for demonstrations in front of NRJ12’s headquarters. Photos of the demonstrations were then posted under the hashtag as well (example shown below).
Apoligies from Pley
Also on October 21th and following the intense backlash, Pley started his evening radio show by an apology on the video in which he explained that, for him, the disclaimer that it was a prank video that shouldn’t be done by random people was obvious enough. A complete transcript in French of his apology was first reported by Madmoizelle. A blog post from La Bonne Fée called out Pley’s hypocrisy by showing a picture of a Facebook post from Pley launching his video back in October 16th and encouraging people to try out what he did in it.
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