Aya Nakamura controversy at the Olympics: the Paris prosecutor's office opens an investigation after a report of racist publications targeting the singer

An investigation was opened after a report from the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) “denouncing publications of a racist nature to the detriment of Aya Nakamura”, received on March 13, confirmed on Friday March 15, the Paris prosecutor's office, requested by Agence Fance-Presse

Aya Nakamura controversy at the Olympics: the Paris prosecutor's office opens an investigation after a report of racist publications targeting the singer

An investigation was opened after a report from the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) “denouncing publications of a racist nature to the detriment of Aya Nakamura”, received on March 13, confirmed on Friday March 15, the Paris prosecutor's office, requested by Agence Fance-Presse. The investigation was entrusted to the national center for the fight against online hatred (PNLH), said the prosecution.

The 28-year-old Franco-Malian star, the most listened to French-speaking artist in the world, has been the target of attacks from the far right for several days, particularly online, while his name is circulating unofficially for singing at the opening of the Paris Olympic Games ceremony on July 26, with the possibility that she will perform a song by Edith Piaf. Neither the President of the Republic nor the artist have, for the moment, confirmed this rumor.

The name of Aya Nakamura was notably booed last weekend during a meeting of the far-right Reconquête! party, then was the target of a racist banner brandished by a small ultra-right group called the Natives. The latter posted, last Saturday, on its social networks, a photo of a banner hung by around ten of its members on the banks of the Seine, where one could read: “There is no way Aya, here it is Paris, not the Bamako market! » (the expression “There’s no way” refers to his hit Djadja, with more than 950 million views on YouTube).

On Friday, the SOS-Racisme association announced in turn taking legal action, denouncing “waves of racist hatred against Aya Nakamura” and citing, as an example, the dissemination of this image online. “The aim of this banner was to assert that Aya Nakamura – although a French artist – had no legitimacy to represent France, the artist being referred to Malian origins which were clearly disqualifying in the eyes of the extreme right,” asserts the association.

Many supports

The figure of the extreme right Marion Maréchal, head of the list for the European elections of Eric Zemmour's party, gave it a new twist on Tuesday on BFM-TV, declaring: "We like it or we don't like it, she doesn't sing not in French. » Aya Nakamura's detractors particularly mock the liberties she takes with the French language, as in Djadja, mixing vocabulary and images from around the world ("I'm not your whore, Djadja, like, in catchana baby, you dead that"). However, she is the most listened to French-speaking singer in the world.

Faced with these attacks, described as racist by many, the artist received multiple support from peers in the music world and several political leaders.

Including that of the Minister of Culture Rachida Dati, Tuesday, who warned against “pretexts for attacking someone out of pure racism”. “Attacking an artist for what she is unacceptable is a crime,” added Ms. Dati, after being questioned by a far-right senator during a hearing by the culture committee in the Senate [ at 1 hour and 57 minutes on the video] on the possible choice of the singer to represent France for the event.

The director Thomas Jolly, in charge of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, also said, on his social networks, “deeply shocked by the racism of which Aya Nakamura is a victim”. Without confirming the singer's participation, he promised that “the ceremonies will speak out against any form of discrimination. France, through a mosaic of talents, will celebrate the beauty and richness of its diversity. » Aya Nakamura, for her part, thanked her community on Tuesday on the social network X “for the support” received.

Aya Nakamura is one of the figures of R'n'B in France and abroad. Last year she released her fourth album, DNK. She was crowned female artist at the Victoires de la Musique 2024.