Gérard Depardieu is one of the greatest actors of the XXth century. Hollywood in its entirety has less talent than Depardieu’s toenail. So it is understandable that the great actor got offended when Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Prime Minister, referred to him as pathetic. Ayraults and Hollandes come and go, yet Depardieu’s amazing talent will keep making France proud for decades to come.
This entire scandal happened when Depardieu declared that he was fed up with having to pay 85% in taxes and was moving to Belgium. In response, Ayrault, who has deluded himself into thinking that he and Hollande are more valuable to France than people of Depardieu’s caliber, has insulted the actor.
I happen to agree with Depardieu that 85% taxation rate is nothing short of robbery. This is not what interests me the most about the story, however. It is a lot more curious to observe the gall of some dime-a-dozen politicians who consider themselves entitled to judge who is and who isn’t French enough. It’s a good thing that Molière, Racine, and Balzac are dead. We can’t guess what their response to Hollande’s tax plan would be and it isn’t like France is in a good position to reject its entire pantheon of great artists at this point when it isn’t producing any new ones.
If you are a speaker of French, read Depardieu’s letter to Ayrault here.