Brigitte Bardot is facing prosecution for inciting racial hatred after calling the people of the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion “degenerate savages”.
The 84-year-old film star turned animal rights activist lashed out at the islanders in an open letter to the local authorities, accusing them of mistreating livestock and pets.
“The natives have kept their savage genes,” wrote Bardot, who has been convicted five times of similar offences, mostly for Islamophobic comments.
Amaury de Saint-Quentin, the Prefect of Réunion, referred her latest outburst to the public prosecutor on Wednesday, saying it “included insulting and racist terms... likely to constitute an offence”.
In her letter, Bardot condemned Réunion’s Hindus for sacrificing goats. The island’s population is of mixed African, Asian and European origin.
A longtime supporter of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the National Rally, formerly known as the National Front, the former actress described Réunion as a “demonic isle”, accusing its people of cruelty to dogs and cats.
She claimed that worshippers who took part in “Indian Tamil festivals... decapitate goats, then throw their entrails into the sea, which attracts sharks.”
A series of shark attacks on swimmers has been reported in recent years.
Bardot, who became famous as the star of the 1956 film “And God Created Woman”, referred to “the cannibalism of past centuries” and described the Réunionnais as “a degenerate population still immersed in barbaric ancestral traditions”.
Some Tamil islanders sacrifice goats and chickens during a religious festival, a practice that critics say should be banned.
Bardot is a friend of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s father and the founder of her party. He has been convicted several times of inciting racial hatred and violence