The Prosecutor’s Office has archived the proceedings that it opened on September 29 as a result of a complaint filed by the association We speak Spanish against a TV3 children’s entertainment program in which a well-known illusionist who joked with a girl disguised as a giant squid stopped speaking Catalan and addressed her in Spanish, claiming that he did so “because that way I look worse.”
In its complaint filed with the Barcelona Provincial Chief Prosecutor, advanced by ABC in its August 24 edition, the association argued, based on article 510 of the Penal Code, that the facts “could constitute a hate crime.” The prosecution, however, does not see a hate crime in the artist’s words Josep Maria Lari Vilaplana, known by the stage name of ‘Mag Lari’ on understanding that the phrase he uttered “does not meet the requirements required by jurisprudence to be considered as inciting or promoting hatred.”
It recognizes, however, that “although It is true that in the social context in which it takes place, a certain tension is detected due to tendencies towards discrimination on ideological grounds., the rest of the hate crime indicators to which we have referred do not concur ». He adds that the language used by the magician “does not detect the forcefulness required for it to be criminally relevant.”
The pretext of Spanish television
As stated in the letter of the Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant acknowledged – as stated in the official letter – that the controversial phrase was not in the script of the program. In his speech on a radio program, the magician apologized, claiming that it was not his intention to offend, and justified the use of Spanish, stating that “all of his generation grew up with two television channels in which Spanish was spoken, hence the phrase denounced, then what they saw was that the bad guys spoke Spanish ».
Gloria Lake, president of Hablamos Español, considers this a “ridiculous excuse” and sees intentionality in the artist’s words. “His justification does not make any sense … That there were no good ones in those two channels in Castilian?”, Says the head of the association in statements to this newspaper. “It saddens that the Prosecutor’s Office, which should ensure that minors do not receive any kind of hateful or discriminatory message, swallow with such an imposture in order not to upset the Catalan nationalists,” adds the president of Hablamos Español, who points out that they study “Reiterate the complaint to the judicial authorities.”
The denounced events occurred at the beginning of the programa ‘Au Pair’, which was broadcast on Catalan regional television on August 17, when the aforementioned magician, disguised as a giant squid To scare the little girl, he approaches her while saying the phrase: “I am the giant squid, I have come to eat the princess.” He ends the sentence and makes a small subsection below: “I speak in Spanish, which makes me seem worse.”
In his complaint, which he presented on August 23, Hablamos Español clarifies that «hate speech is not protected by freedom of ideological expression, since this cannot offer shelter to the exteriorization of insulting expressions that contain an unjustifiable contempt towards groups of people with a certain characteristic, be it racial, sexual, religious, linguistic or ideological ”. Specifies that “When the use of the Spanish language is identified with evil and monstrous, that culture of hatred is being transmitted to children.”
«These behaviors do not deserve the coverage of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression (art. 20 CE) or ideological freedom (art. 16 CE), as they contain an intolerance incompatible with the democratic system, “he concludes.