A video captured the moment when a man delivered a very deliberate, slightly awkward slap across the face of another man in public.
Normally, that wouldn't be big news.
After all, the internet is a wild place where clips of confrontations are shared often. But this most recent slap drew attention due to exactly who was on the receiving end—French President Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron giflé: un témoin BFMTV filme l'agression d'un autre angle https://t.co/mP907RtTki— BFMTV (@BFMTV) 1623167426.0
As the clip showed, Macron was slapped directly across the face while he greeted people along a rope line in the small town of Tain-l'Hermitage in southeast France as he exited a school he'd been visiting.
The man—shouting "Montjoie Saint-Denis, à bas la Macronie" before delivering the blow—was then obscured from view by quick moving body guards. The phrase incorporated a 12th century slogan adopted by the far-right and "down with Macronism."
Macron was whisked away.
Macron came with all that agility and stamina to receive Slap https://t.co/GyVzfRDn6v— Noble 🔴 (@Noble 🔴) 1623159450.0
🚨🇫🇷 | BREAKING: Macron slapped in the face Via @ConflitsFrance https://t.co/1L7eYTsvDR— Politics For All (@Politics For All) 1623157066.0
The Associated Press reported Macron addressed the incident while speaking to reporters later that day.
"I'm always going to meet people."
"Some people express anger, sometimes disarray ... that's legitimate anger, and we will continue to respond. Stupidity and violence, no, not in democracy."
While speaking with local French newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, Macron touted his continued willingness to be an accessible leader.
"We must not let isolated acts, ultra-violent individuals, like there had been some also in (street) protests, dominate the public debate: they don't deserve it."
"I greeted the people who were by the man's side and made pictures with them. I continued and will continue. Nothing will stop me."
Many global leaders condemned the act of physical aggression towards Macron.
Average folks on Twitter did the same, albeit a tad begrudgingly.
@AP Violence against politicians is never ok, no matter how funny it may be sometimes.— LogicalFallacy (@LogicalFallacy) 1623173844.0
@AP Don’t hurt other humans. General rule of thumb. Shouldn’t be encouraged at all. That being said, the guy kind of had it coming.— milo! (@milo!) 1623179239.0
@AP Macron has been challenged. He should uphold his honor by taking up the dual.— AikiYun🔞 COMMS CLOSED!! (@AikiYun🔞 COMMS CLOSED!!) 1623179423.0
Although Macron's comments suggest his schedule of appearances won't change, perhaps the security protocols may look a bit beefier in the coming days and weeks.
Two 28-year-old men were arrested. They could face three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for an "attack on a public official."