by lynn
Categories: Causes.

Richard Gere‘s been very active in promoting AIDS awareness in India lately, and with Bollywood actress and Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty having launched her own AIDS charity in February, it only seemed like a matter of time before Hollywood and Bollywood started working together for the cause. The two were at an AIDS awareness function recently, but that wasn’t the most talked-about occurrence that night. It looks like some groups in India were outraged when Richard swept up Shilpa in his arms and gave her a big kiss.

Right-wing Hindus burned effigies of the 57-year-old Gere in India’s entertainment hub of Mumbai and organized street rallies in the capital New Delhi one day after Gere’s public display of affection, seen as taboo here.

Shilpa wasn’t safe from criticism either, and some people also burned effigies of her. Richard has already apologized and even Shilpa isn’t making a big deal out of the whole thing. I’m just gonna say that Richard should have been more careful with the way he behaves in other countries and will also hope that this controversy won’t affect his projects. Loads more interesting comments about the entire hoopla can be found here and here.

  • Bill The Thrill

    Big Deal?….kinda looks that way does it not?

  • http://noweb Russell

    Hi,

    I think Shilpa represented Indian culture through Big Brother. She is a public figure. Since she has to adhere
    the custom of India she could avoid the scene. Richar gear first kissed her hand and next time he kissed her chin. Shilpa could show her disliking very first moment. But she did not. I think she enjoyed the kiss. She was attracted to Gear. True confession will enhance Shipa’s popularity. I also think she is tring to make some place in western owrld.

  • Scott

    For a society who has been deeply damaged by colonialism can one think of a more offensive image of a white guy grabbing a daughter of India and forcing himself upon her? It is so symbolic. It is right in line with the image of the white colonist forcing himself upon a country and just taking whatever he wants.

    Richard Gere should pay the ultimate price for this.

    What bothers me however is those who would blame Shilpa Shetty for this.

    Too often women victims of rape in India are blamed for what happened like they wanted the rape to happen or it was their fault the rape happened even when the truth might be that the rapists brutalized them and they couldn’t stop the rape from happening.

    While of course Richard Gere didn’t actually rape Shilpa Shetty, I still see this whole “Blame the Woman Victim” dynamic in place. From what I saw from the video Shilpa Shetty did nothing to cause Richard Gere to act the way he did, and was in fact as shocked as everyone else was that he would act in such a disgraceful manner.

    We need to defend this daughter of India, not blame her for this white man’s assault upon her.