MADRID – A comedian who blew his nose on the Spanish flag during a sketch broadcast on a prime-time satirical TV show has appeared before an investigating magistrate at a Madrid court on Monday after a police union lodged a complaint saying the well-known humorist’s performance had insulted the flag and was a possible hate crime.
Dani Mateo’s skit on the popular comedy program “El Intermedio” (The Intermission) was pulled by broadcaster La Sexta amid a considerable public backlash and, alongside the show’s host Jose Miguel Monzon (stage name El Gran Wyoming), Mateo issued a statement saying he had not intended to offend anyone.
But, speaking to press outside the court in Madrid on Monday, Mateo said he was “concerned” by the judicial action against him.
“I will only say that, as a citizen of this country, I’m somewhat concerned because we are bringing a clown in front of a judge just for doing his job,” he said. “And this concerns me a lot because of the image it gives to my country and to my flag.”
Mateo observed his right to remain silent during the hearing, in which the investigating magistrate will decide whether there were grounds to bring the case to trial.
During the controversial sketch, Mateo read out the instructions on the back of a packet of cold medicine and then sneezed and blew his nose into the Spanish flag on the desk next to him.