Macron Told Off A French Teen For Being Impolite And People Are Not Impressed

"You call me Mr. President."

Yesterday French President Emmanuel Macron was meeting crowds in Northern France, commemorating Gen. Charles De Gaulle's call for popular resistance during World War II.

Charles Platiau / AP

Among the people gathered was an unidentified teen, who addressed Macron informally, saying, "Ca va Manu?" — "How's it going, Manu?"

Emmanuel Macron / Twitter

“No, you can’t do that, no, no, no, no,” Macron told the boy, who apologized (using the president's title) quickly after.

"You call me Mr. President or Sir," the 40-year-old president continued, to the abashed teenager.

"You can't just behave like that. You can act like a clown, but today it's the 'Marseillaise' and the 'Partisans' Song' we're singing.

"You need to do things the right way. Even if you want to lead a revolution one day, you've first got to earn a diploma and learn how to put food on the table," he said.

Macron's official Twitter account also put out a version of the exchange, which showed him telling off the teen.

Le respect, c’est le minimum dans la République – surtout un 18 juin, surtout en présence des compagnons de la Libération. Mais cela n’empêche pas d’avoir une conversation détendue – regardez jusqu’au bout.

People thought that the teenager was pretty great.

Lauren Collins

But there was also a lot of criticism about the French president's decision to post the video about telling off the kid.


"It's one thing for Emmanuel Macron to scold a kid in public (we can leave it to the benefit of the doubt on whether it's staged or not), but posting the video on the account for the head of state....."

Twitter / Tristan McConnell

"Humiliating a 15-year-old kid in front of millions, just to cater to right-wing voters, that’s also Macronism."


People were reminded of a speech Macron gave earlier this year, when he told students at George Washington University in the US that they didn't have to follow the rules.

Twitter / Sergio Abdel-Kader
Twitter / Rachid I'instit

One reporter tweeted that the teen — whom she didn't name — was staying away from school as the kids there were teasing him after the incident.


"Hello @EmmanuelMacron and @Elysee, you know I just saw the young boy at his college and he feels awful because everyone is mocking him? He just went home, doesn't want to talk to anyone, he's afraid it's going to hurt him for high school. Nice day."

Basically, most people thought that although the teenager was a bit out of line speaking to the president like that, Macron should not have tweeted the video.


"You have to earn respect kiddo."

"[But] humiliating someone publicly then on social media is petty and irresponsible, but don’t worry we won’t say a thing Mr. President."


"PR stunt on the back of a kid who doesn’t seem that bad, and even really nice, but who dared to be warmly familiar."

"He became the joke of his school and stays at home. I think you lost a fan!"



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.