Never a stranger to controversial and unpopular positions, the former French film star Brigitte Bardot has claimed that she loved being told she had “a nice little ass” and that the “vast majority” of actresses who are now claiming to be sexually harassed or assaulted are “hypocritical” and “ridiculous.”
Bardot has also claimed, in an interview with Paris Match, that “lots” of the actresses alleging sexual harassment as part of the #MeToo drive are only doing so for publicity.
Her comments come the week after 100 French actresses, including Catherine Deneuve, signed a letter to a national French newspaper claiming that the #MeToo campaign was ushering in a “new puritanism” and a “hatred of men.” It claimed men would be afraid to initiate romantic contact with women, saying: “Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or clumsily, is not—and nor is men being gentlemanly a chauvinist attack.”
Bardot, who publicly supports the far-right National Front and has at least five convictions for inciting racial hatred, was asked in an interview with the French magazine what she thought of actresses alleging sexual harassment under the #MeToo banner.
“In the vast majority of cases, they are being hypocritical, ridiculous, and uninteresting,” Bardot, 83, replied.
“There are many actresses who flirt with producers in order to get a role. Then, in order to be talked about, they will say they have been harassed. In reality, rather than benefiting them, it harms them.”
Bardot, a ’60s sex siren who starred in classic French movies such as Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Mépris and Roger Vadim’s 1956 Et Dieu Créa la Femme, is still regarded as a significant cultural icon in France, albeit one of a former era.
Bardot has not been an active participant in French cinema since the 1970s but her shocking—and sometimes racist and xenophobic—pronouncements still have the power to grab headlines.
In her 2003 book, A Cry in the Silence, Bardot declared her support for Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, commending him for being “faithful to his ideas through thick and thin” and lamented “the Islamization of French society.”
In the new interview, according to a translation at The Daily Telegraph, Bardot says: “Me, I was never the victim of sexual harassment. And I found it charming when men told me that I was beautiful or I had a nice little backside. This kind of compliment is nice.”