Sugar Sammy blacks out English on Metro ads after OQLF complaint

Montreal comedian Sugar Sammy's Christmas wish has come true. Two days after putting up ads in the Montreal Metro reading "For Christmas, I'd like a complaint from the Office de la langue française," he had to remove the English portion of the billboard ads.

Sugar Sammy asked for an Office de la langue française complaint, and got one

This photo posted to Reddit shows the corrected version of Sugar Sammy's ad. It says in French, "For Christmas, I got a complaint from the Office de la langue française." (Domenic-Anthony D'Amico/Reddit)

Montreal comedian Sugar Sammy's Christmas wish has come true.

This photo posted to Reddit shows a before and after of a Sugar Sammy ad. In the second ad, it says in French, "For Christmas, I got a complaint from the Office de la langue française." (Domenic-Anthony D'Amico/Reddit)

Two days after putting up ads in the Montreal Metro reading "For Christmas, I'd like a complaint from the Office de la langue française," he had to remove the English portion of the billboard ads. 

EXPLAINER: Sugar Sammy's English ads did break OQLF signage rules

On Thursday, a man named François Côté took credit for filing a complaint with Quebec's language watchdog.

Someone took it upon themselves to make their own "edits" to this Sugar Sammy ad at Laurier Metro. (Sophie Tremblay/CBC)

"My good deed of the day," Côté wrote in French. "It gives me great pleasure to do my civic duty and make a complaint against you to the Office de la languefrançaise."

Sugar Sammy, whose real name is Samir Khullar, is well-known for his ongoing bilingual comedy shows. His tongue-in-cheek critique of cultural clashes in the province aren't always popular, however.

The comedian, who is currently on tour between Chibougamau and Chicoutimi without cellphone reception, was unable to comment Friday.

François Côté posted this photo to his Facebook page saying he was happy to oblige Sugar Sammy's request for a complaint to the OQLF. (François Côté/Facebook)

However, his media relations representative Leisa Lee said he would issue a statement on his Facebook page over the weekend.

Lee said Sugar Sammy paid for 12 large Metro ads, which went up earlier this week.

Lee said they anticipated a complaint, and were prepared to cover up the English portion of the ads with thick, black censor bar stickers. 

In Quebec, ads must be either exclusively in French or, if bilingual, have the French portion above and in larger letters than the English portion.


Update: Advertising firm Sid Lee took credit for the ad campaign the same day the billboards were censored.

Its Facebook page stated, in French: "Our Christmas campaign for Sugar Sammy got a lot of attention! Sam got his complaint quickly, but we were prepared. We put up our black bars the night following the complaint."

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