Bilal Hassani: his response to homophobic attacks

He may be used to criticism, but the Metz affair is the straw that broke the camel's back

Bilal Hassani: his response to homophobic attacks

He may be used to criticism, but the Metz affair is the straw that broke the camel's back. "It happened to me several times to receive threats and I always showed myself the most courageous possible, but there, it was starting to be worrying, especially for my public..." It is a Bilal Hassani moved and tired of the controversies who appeared Wednesday evening on the set of C à vous, after the cancellation of his planned concert in Metz.

Radical Catholic and far-right movements had stepped up to protest against his planned concert in a former church desecrated and converted into a cultural venue. "It's a public, cultural place that hosts shows all the time, and we never talk about it," Hassani continues. I understand the mission behind all this, all these messages received, all the threats, because it's me, and it's sad. »

And to remember that he is above all an artist, not just a gay activist and an icon of the LGBT cause. "My shows have always been for everyone, I don't do pornographic performances, I've never done one," he recalls on France 5. When, at 5, I started the conservatory, I had no idea my career was going to look like this,” he continued. I like to sing, I like to dance and I know that I make people feel good […] We were starting a tour, this concert was sold out and it was ruined again. Sometimes, you have the impression of seeing beautiful things happen and all of a sudden you step back, and that's scary. »

Traditionalist activists or identity movements had howled scandal and desecration, objecting that the church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, where the concert was to take place, remained a Christian place, a former vestige of a Benedictine abbey. But Mayor François Grosdidier recalled that the building had been officially deconsecrated for 500 years – in fact, it even served as a military building before being restored and converted into a performance hall, welcoming local artists and even hip-hop. hop… Christophe Willem had a full house there in 2015. But the threats were such that the production preferred to cancel the show scheduled for April 5. “There was a call for the rally that was going to take place in the city, explains Bilal Hassani, they had tried to target my fans. And that's the thing that terrifies me the most..."

It's been four years since the singer learned to live with hate. Torrents of mud poured over him as soon as he participated in Eurovision in 2019, where he represented France with his song "King". In an attempt to calm this harassment on social networks, he decided to file a complaint against X for "insults, incitement to hatred and violence and homophobic threats". A waste of time, he said he sometimes received up to 15 insults per minute...

"It bothers a lot that my parents were born in Morocco and that I'm gay, there's no denying that. And that I wear the colors of my country, "he confided at the time to the Parisian. The Metz affair proves that he still has so much trouble being accepted. “I'm starting to get a little tired, he admitted in C to you, while announcing to continue his tour. I've been exposed for four years, I'm still a human being, I'm 23, I started when I was 19, it's a lot to carry on my shoulders...".