French Media Chief Strips Down for Calendar (And Pisses Off the Bosses)


Jean-Paul Cluzel is the head of Radio France, the government-run media giant over there. Cluzel, 60, is openly gay, and like a good human being, he’s concerned about this whole AIDS thing we’ve been hearing about. So when asked to pose for a 2009 calendar whose sales would go toward AIDS awareness and activism, he agreed, tossing off his shirt (revealing a fit tattooed body) and donning a Mexican wrestilng mask in a photospread with his boyfriend. That’s when his phone started ringing — with criticism.

Even President Nicolas Sarkoy is said to be among those pissed off Cluzel, a public official, would engage in something so titillating. And now, Cluzel is apologizing for it: “I made an error of judgement and apologise to any colleagues at Radio France that were offended by it. Friends of mine suggested I pose for a calendar about the diverse range of people with tattoos, the profits of which would go to the fight against AIDS. I didn’t want to appear in my capacity as head of Radio France, so I posed in a coloured cloth mask. I was unwise. Without malice, Act Up decided to reveal my name and my job title.” He also says he thought the calendar was for an umbrella AIDS agency, reports Expatica, and not the “more radical” ACT UP.

Now, should public figures think they can hide behind a wrestling mask and think their identity will forever stay hidden? Please. Larry Craig knows all too well there’s no such thing as privacy.

But can we really blame a guy for wanting to show off his hot bod for a good cause? Certainly not. In fact, it’s the sort of relaxed attitude we’d love to see from more French government officials. Sarkozy, who Cluzel doubts took an actual interest in his situation, is famous for his vanity and showing off his leggy wife. It’s time U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner showed some skin.