by Lester Brathwaite on
It takes a lot to insult the French — and god knows people have been trying for ages. However, as soon as Salma Hayek receives a Legion of Honor Chevalier it’s all “quel scandale!“
The knighthood, bestowed by president Nicolas Sarkozy, recognizes Hayek for her “services to the French Republic,” notably, her work as ”director and producer (and) active member of charitable foundations for 23 years.” The fact that Hayek’s old man is Francois-Henri Pinault, a close friend of Sarkozy and the head of PPR thus the owner of pretty much everything including Gucci, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent, I’m sure had nothing to do with it. Nor does the fact that Hayek’s father-in-law, Francois Pinault is simultaneously being named a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour.
But the French are croaking their disapproval nonetheless, calling Hayek’s appointment a joke, “an insult to France” and as a result Napoleon Bonaparte, who instituted the honor in 1802 in an attempt to replace the nobility, is “turning in his grave.” One honoree has even refused to accept the award. Henri Torre, the crotchety 78-year-old former minister and member of Sarkozy’s ruling party sassed, “Too many people have been nominated who do not deserve to be honoured” and claimed that the award had been tainted with “croneyism” by “naming any old people.”