Brigitte Bardot fined for 'savages' insult against La Reunion inhabitants

'The natives have kept their savage genes', the animal rights campaigner wrote in 2019

Brigitte Bardot, the famous French actress turned animal rights activist, has been fined €20,000 ($23,000) for describing the inhabitants of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion as “savages”.

Her attack in 2019 was in response to what she saw as the mistreatment of animals on the island.

La Reunion is one of France's overseas territories spread across the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean.

The 87 year old’s spokesman Bruno Jacquelin was fined €4,000 by the court in the main town of Saint-Denis de la Reunion for his role in sending Bardot's statement to several media outlets at her request.

"The natives have kept their savage genes," the animal rights campaigner wrote in an open letter attacking the islanders for their treatment of animals, describing local residents as "degenerate savages".

She took aim at the island's Hindu Tamil population for sacrificing goats, evoking the "cannibalism of past centuries" carried out by, she said, "a degenerate population still soaked in barbarous ancestral traditions".

Bardot, who is married to a former adviser of far-right political leader Marine Le Pen, shot to fame in the 1956 film ...And God Created Woman, becoming one of the best-known actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. She retired from the film industry in 1973.

She became a controversial figure and has been convicted several times over her comments about Muslims.

France's overseas territories minister at the time, Annick Girardin, told her in a letter after her comments about Le Reunion, "that racism is not an opinion, it's an offence".

She has been fined five times for inciting racial hatred against Muslims.

She repeatedly took aim at the feast of Eid al-Adha, during which Muslims ritually slaughter a sheep but she has also criticised other traditions and denounced immigration from Muslim countries.

In 2008, she was convicted over a 2006 tract on the Eid al-Adha issue, in which she described the Muslim community in France as “this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts”.

Updated: November 5th 2021, 11:15 AM