Many French think U.S. television programs, movies and fast food are having a negative impact on French culture, and their resentment is rising, a new poll shows.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said American TV programs were having an adverse effect on the country, according to the Louis Harris poll released this week by the newsmagazine Le Point.In a similar Harris survey in 1984, only 45 percent thought so.
Fifty-seven percent had the same opinion of Hollywood movies, up sharply from 36 percent in 1984.
Outside of TV and movies, a solid majority of respondents believe that American influence in most categories posed no threat to the French way of life.
Yet, in each category there are pockets of dissidents.
While only 9 percent resented American cuisine 12 years ago, 35 percent do today, despite the success here of McDonald's and Tex-Mex restaurants.
The growing influence of the English language on French culture - an explosive issue here for decades - still angers many French, the poll found. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they were displeased, up from 28 percent in 1984.
Countering the growing resentment, fewer French apparently scorn American music. Thirty-six percent said they thought it had too great an influence, down from 42 percent in the 1984 survey.
Asked whether they would be better or worse off if they lived in the United States, 52 percent said they'd be less happy. Only 12 percent said they'd be more content.
Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,001 people aged 18 and older on Oct. 25-26.