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FRENCH CANADIAN COMMUNITY LEADERS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPS RESPOND TO BIGOTRY CHARGES AIMED AT SUN-SENTINEL'S XS MAGAZINE

 HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by le Soleil de la Floride, a newspaper serving the South Florida French-speaking community:
 On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m., local ethnic, community, business and government leadership will stand together to denounce prejudice and announce plans regarding prevention of a repetition of insulting, bigoted reporting by both XS and its parent company, The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.
 The controversy began anew this week when, for the second year in a row, XS magazine published a derogatory article and series of photos about the French Canadian community.
 The story has received widespread coverage across Canada including front page coverage by the major daily newspapers of Montreal and Quebec City, over 20 radio stations, all of French Canada's TV news programming and scores of print publications.
 In 1993, the French Canadian community in Broward County is projected to number 650,000, with over 125,000 living here on a year round basis. They are expected to spend over $1 billion. In fact, according to the latest census data, out of the scores of South Florida's unique foreign born ethnic groups, the second most numerous (after the Cubans) are the French Canadians.
 The press conference will be co-hosted by le Soleil de la Floride which, for almost a decade, has been the media representative for French speaking South Florida. Led by its editor, Jean Laurac, they have become the singular defending voice for this valuable minority.
 Freely admitting that he knew the article would be considered offensive, XS Publisher Stephen Wissink stated that because he believed it was humorous he had the right to create this visual and verbal insult. Since XS began in January, 1991, the only ethnic group they have ever targeted for ridicule is the French Canadians.
 According to both Wissink and Sun Sentinel Vice President, Howard Greenberg, the solution offered to the French Canadian's objection to the articles, photos, and the use of ethnic slurs by XS is to "write a letter to the editor." On Tuesday, at the press conference, the community's local leadership will announce their "solution".
 On the very same beach Wissink complained was "full of Canadians" (as compared to people of an ethnic persuasion that presumably met his approval), the City of Hollywood is once again sponsoring CANADAFEST. The festival, a month long celebration of French Canadian culture, culminates in a two day extravaganza on February 13th & 14th. It will be the first true festival to be held on that beach since the area was targeted for redevelopment.
 The Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to fund and support this celebration as a thank you for the contributions made by the city's French Canadian residents. Other cities in the area with large French speaking populations include Hallandale, Dania, Pompano Beach, North Miami, Boynton Beach and Sunny Isles.
 Residents from all these cities and many others will join together for the kick-off of CANADAFEST on February 5th and 6th at Oceanwalk in Hollywood for the Cerebral Palsy Telethon. The telethon will link South Florida via satellite with a nationwide Canadian television audience.
 Oceanwalk is located on the bottom floor of The Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel at 101 North Ocean Drive, Hollywood which is at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and the beach. The press conference will take place on the back patio at 3 p.m.
 For more information on the French Canadian Community, le Soleil, CANADAFEST, additional community and Canadian government reaction contact Jean Laurac or Barry Sacharow, 305-923-4510 or beeper, 305-766-3343.
 -0- 1/18/93 R
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: The press conference will be held, Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. on the back patio at Oceanwalk, 101 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood (The Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel) at Hollywood Boulevard and Ocean Drive.
 /CONTACT: Barry Sacharow of le Soleil de la Floride, 305-923-4510/


CO: Sun-Sentinel; XS Magazine; le Soleil de la Floride ST: Florida IN: PUB SU:

AW-JJ -- FL009X -- 6217 01/19/93 10:18 EST
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