The HBO host has a message for France.
With a wave of far-right populism sweeping Europe, the progressive fate of the continent may hang in the balance of France’s upcoming elections. So John Oliver has a warning for the French people: “Don’t f— up, too.”
Citing Brexit and the results of the U.S. election, Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight saw the HBO host delve into the upcoming French election as he profiled each of the candidates running for office, with a special focus on Marine Le Pen, the head of the far-right National Front, whose campaign rhetoric has sounded not unlike Donald Trump.
“She is the main reason you should be invested in this election,” warned Oliver during his segment. “Beneath her slick presentation, Le Pen’s message is vicious.”
Le Pen — the daughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has a history of making anti-Semitic statements — is anti-immigration, as can be seen in a clip that shows her stating that illegal immigrants are like people who “remove the wallpaper” and “steal your wallet and brutalize your wife.” She also plans on banning any sign of religious belief, including hijabs, yarmulkes, and turbans.
“Brutalizing your wife and stealing your wallet I get. That’s just boilerplate racism,” said Oliver. “But ‘people are coming to take my wallpaper’ is something a crazy person says. No one wants your wallpaper, you catastrophically weird person.”
Nonetheless, Oliver stated that the French election feels like déjà vu — especially for the American people.
“A potentially destabilizing populist campaigning on anti-immigrant rhetoric,” said Oliver outlining all the similarities between Le Pen and Trump. “Who rages against the elites despite having a powerful father and inherited wealth even as all the experts reassure us that there is no way this could possibly happen.”
But Oliver wasn’t done beseeching the French people just yet, as you can see above. Not only did the British late night host break out his French to encourage the French people to avoid what he called the U.K. and U.S.’s mistakes, he also turned to a popular franchise to really drive his message home: “Help us France, you’re our only hope.”