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A fantastic case of mistaken identity.
On Nouvelle Star, the French version of American Idol, a rapper named JoeyStarr slapped reporter and TV personality Gilles Verdez. The slap reverberated around French social media as outraged fans began to harass… an American comedian?
Joe Starr is not JoeyStarr, but that fact has eluded many French Nouvelle Star viewers, who are incensed at the comedian for an assault he had nothing to do with. Starr’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are blowing up, and there’s not a whole lot he can do to stop it.
But, like a true comedian, Starr is going with the flow. He’s begun responding to the haters in broken French, and pretending il est le vrai JoeyStarr.
@zoelacroche I failed it in college and said ‘I’ll never need this!’
— Joe Starr (@joestarr187) April 20, 2016
So far, he’s expressed his love for berets, slapping female journalists, and the film The Brotherhood of the Wolf. He’s also said that the haters are “jealous of his rap money” and promised to move to Quebec to be with “the real French.”
And, on Wednesday afternoon, things began to escalate:
The people of France demand that Starr (who is not JoeyStarr) apologize or suffer a heinous curse. Will he atone for his actions, or continue to clown on the “stupid French peasants?” Stay tuned.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.