1960s film icon and tireless (obsessive?) animal rights defender Brigitte Bardot has a new cause: France has declared bullfighting a part of the country’s cultural heritage. It’s a pretty vague distinction, and it seems as though this isn’t even a really official thing (i.e., it’s not on any UNESCO lists yet or anything). But that’s not stopped Bardot from sending a scathing letter to “the minister of unculture” (obviously the culture minister) Frédéric Mitterrand, saying that “French culture is a culture of enlightenment and has nothing to do with bloody things like bullfighting.”
She also told Mitterand that the decision to vaguely include bullfighting on some nebulous list somewhere was “La plus grosse connerie de votre vie” — “the biggest mistake of your life.” Huh! On a slightly more valid/tangible note, Bardot noted that bullfighting was imported to France from Spain and is thus not a truly French thing. Also, as ArtInfo points out, “Some forms of French bullfighting, however, are more humane than others. In the Provence and Languedoc areas, a local variation of the sport does not involve killing the bull but rather dares participants to try snatching a ribbon from between the bull’s horns.”
Brigitte Bardot has a lot of time on her hands! Isn’t it strange how older celebrities latch onto these causes and just ride them out forever? She’s had the Brigitte Bardot Foundation For the Welfare and Protection of Animals since 1986. She’s fired off angry missives to everyone from the former president of China to the queen of Denmark about protecting various kinds of animals.
I recently watched Contempt, the Godard movie from 1963 starring Bardot, and it’s kind of bizarre to think that the cultural icon that was Brigitte Bardot in the ’60s has become kind of a crotchety old lady. How the mighty have fallen, et cetera!