Court in France bans offensive cupcakes from display

Picture curtsey of Valery Hache / AFP


(FRANCE 24 ) A French court has banned the display of “obscene” cupcakes wrought in black chocolate from a pastry shop near Nice in southeastern France, after a watchdog described them as “racist”.

The “God” and “Goddess” cupcakes, which are stuffed with ganache and topped with the chocolate figures of a plump man and woman with pink lips and protruding genitalia, have been on sale in the shop in the town of Grasse for about 15 years.

A court in Nice last week ordered that they be removed from the shop’s window display, saying the cakes showed “two people of colour in grotesque and obscene attitudes” and that the pastries “violate human dignity, especially that of the African people or people of African descent”.

But the court said it had found no “malicious will” on the part of the baker and that the shop could continue making and selling the cakes.

The town’s mayor was instructed to ensure the cakes were removed from the display immediately, with a penalty of 500 euros for each day’s delay.

It also ordered the town to pay a fine of 1,000 euros to the Platform for Reflection and Action against Anti-Black Racism (CRAN), which called for the cupcakes to be banned earlier in March after a complaint from a resident.

Baker Yannick Tavolaro said he makes the cupcakes only on weekends, and often to order.

In a defamation complaint against CRAN, he insisted that there was nothing racist about the cakes and that using black chocolate was technically necessary to model the figures, which he said were cartoons.

CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin said he was “delighted” with the court ruling, adding it was a warning to the rest of France.