On appeal, justice gives reason to France Télévisions against Julien Lepers

Julien Lepers Domine-Wyters

VIDEO – The host of “Questions for a champion” claimed 3.4 million euros from the producer of the show for a “discrimination” age related.

The dismissal of Julien Lepers, ousted in 2016 from the program “Questions for a champion” which he had presented for 27 years, was not abusive, confirmed this Wednesday, May 17 the Paris Court of Appeal in a decision that AFP was able to consult, revealed by the Informed.

The former star host of France 3, who claimed 3.4 million euros from the producer of the show, FremantleMedia, was dismissed from almost all of his requests. He must therefore be satisfied with the approximately 800,000 euros in compensation which had been granted to him at first instance in 2020 by the Labor Court and were provided for in his employment contract.

Replaced by Samuel Etienne

The damages claimed under a “discrimination” age-related, “image damage” or a “breaking under brutal and vexatious conditions” however, they were all rejected. Julien Lepers had been forced to stop presenting France 3’s flagship program in January 2016, the channel having decided to replace him with journalist Samuel Etienne. In the process, the presenter had decided to seize the prud’hommes, believing that he had been dismissed because of his age (66 years old at the time) rather than because of the erosion of the hearings invoked by Fremantle. In question, statements by the president of France Télévisions, Delphine Ernotte, pronounced on Europe 1 shortly after taking office in 2015: “We have a television of white men over 50, and that will have to change”.

But “content” of his words “does not in itself make it possible to establish the material existence of facts which could lead to the presumption of the existence of discrimination on the part of” of FremantleMedia, decides the Court of Appeal. She further confirms that “the dismissal of Mr. Ronan Lepers said Julien Lepers was based on a real and serious cause”. The Court thus refers to two reports showing, in its view, that “The show’s audience declined seriously in the year preceding the termination of the employment contract and that the disaffection of viewers had no connection with the show’s format itself”.

These reports also “highlight the weariness, even the exasperation of the regulars of the show because of the personality of the host, who has not renewed himself, despite the alerts, and has not changed his attitude in particular to the regard to the candidates”, according to the decision. Contacted by AFP, neither Julien Lepers nor Fremantle wished to comment.

SEE ALSO – Julien Lepers: “At France Télévisions, there is a management problem”

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