Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gere kiss sparks India protests

Protestors are burning Richard Gere in effigy, after he publicly kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness event, in a recreation of one of his moves from Shall We Dance?

More conservative Indians, no fans of Bollywood to begin with, are burning Shilpa Shetty in effigy.

Shetty, no stranger to contreversy, is not only a Bollywood actress, but the winner of the UK's version of Celebrity Big Brother, as well as an activist for HIV/AIDS awareness and PETA.

Although Ms. Shetty is a fixture in the celebrity "news" each week on "Namaste America" and "India Waves," we've seen none of her movies, including the notable release from 2004, Phir Milenge, a remake of Jonathan Demme's 1993 Philadelphia. The film featured Ms. Shetty in the role originally taken by Tom Hanks and future Mr. Aishwarya Rai, Abishek Bachchan (the Big B's son), in the Denzel Washington role. But with all references to homosexuality removed. And the requisite musical numbers thrown in (more video montages than dance numbers, though).

Gere has apologized profusely for any embarassment he's caused Ms. Shetty, and for his own cultural blunder.

I was going to enter a joke here about waiting for him to apologize for one of his lame movies, but I really haven't seen any of them.

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