Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World

posted by Ellen Leventry

A week or so ago, I suggested that “Idol Chatter” cover the Richard Gere kissing kerfuffle that was consuming India. It seems the “Officer and a Gentleman” exhibited what some Indians consider less than gentlemanly behavior by vigorously kissing Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty several times on the hand and cheek while attending an AIDS/HIV awareness event. At the time, it was decided there were other stories to cover and that the incident would most likely blow over quickly, but like Gere’s career, this story has made an incredible comeback, with a court issuing arrest warrants for both Gere and Shilpa.

A local in Jaipur filed an obscenity complaint and Judge Dinesh Gupta issued the warrants stating that the actors, “transgressed all limits of vulgarity and have the tendency to corrupt the society” and called event footage “highly sexually erotic” and against India’s strict public obscenity laws.

I agree strongly with Dinesh D’Souza when he says that while he doesn’t share the “extreme conservatism of traditional cultures” he thinks it’s “naive of us not to recognize that there are deeply-held values in other societies, and it is especially easy for Hollywood types like Gere to outrage the locals.”

And while it’s important to respect people’s beliefs, Hinduism and tradition may not be the only motivations here: “Such cases against celebrities–often filed by publicity seekers–are common in conservative India,” notes MSNBC.com. “They add to a backlog of legal cases that has nearly crippled the country’s judicial system.”

Gere himself mentioned on last night’s Daily Show that, “They do this kind of thing quite often. I don’t know that anyone has actually gone to jail … It goes to a reputable court and they throw it out,” as TMZ.com reports.

Coming just on the heels of the Elizabeth Hurley matrimony melee, it seems that these publicity seekers are moving to the big leagues, leaving Bollywood for Hollywood. But burning effigies of Gere in the streets? Imagine what would have happened if he’d had a “wardrobe malfunction”?

Sure, his Greenwich Village neighbors were aggravated with him a few years ago for building a Buddhist prayer hut on top of his brownstone, but Gere has done a lot of advocacy work in India, for health issues as well as Tibetan exiles. Heck, the man is buddy-buddy with the Dalai Lama himself, and often visits him in Dharamsala, in Northern India. It goes without saying that conservative traditionalists most likely wouldn’t care if Gere has done good works, and might take offense at a “Western” interloper trying to improve/interfere with their culture.

And even though Shetty was raised in a traditional Hindu family, as her mother described in a January 2007 interview with The Times of London, she herself is quoted as saying, “this was not such a big thing, or obscene, for people to overreact in such a manner.”

Then again, she has a warrant out for her arrest, too.

What do you think? Is this kiss hotter, so to speak, than his famous cinematic lip-lock with Debra Winger?



  • http://HASH(0xfe174c4) WeRNotThisConservative

    The media in the West is spreading misinformation – India sues Gere . It s a small town judge in a very large country. They are not reporting how this Judge has been slammed by the legal community in India. Nothing s gonna happen to Gere. Such ridiculous cases are brought to courts daily in India. It s a free and diverse country. Chill guys. In a country of about a billion people and hundreds of towns and cities a few dozen rascals go out burning effigies on the streets of no more than four towns and the Guardian screams The Kiss that Shocked India or Jon Stewart on the Daily Show in USA- Protests Rock India . Indians including Shilpa Shetty ( the actress in question ) didn t care much about it. And please stop asking people to respect our conservative culture. We ain t no Saudi Arabia. We gave the world the Kamasutra, the sculptures of Khajuraho, the raunchy Bollywood movies and the annual Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar ( scantier clothed models than those in Victoria s Secret s calendar )

Previous Posts

#MARCHON
In light of recent occurrences in addition to our day-to-day - we need, more than ever, to march on. #Marchon is a national platform for justice. It's the opportunity to let the world know what and how you feel. What are you passionate about? What do you believe needs to change? Where does the actio

posted 2:28:57pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Classic with a Modern Twist: What to Expect from Annie
It's a film that the whole family will enjoy. It's a film that will inspire you to look at life in a different lens. Moreover, it's a film that will keep you wanting more - what film are we talking about? None other than Annie. The talented cast include Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne,

posted 8:00:55am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Get Excited For the Holiday Film of the Year - Annie
Everyone is excited to see Annie, in theaters Dec. 19, staring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. The film is a modern retelling of the story about an orphan who seeks optimism within the adversity that she faces every day. While you're waiting for the f

posted 9:30:10am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

'Unbroken' is a True Gift This Christmas
// After 57 years of being hung up, now a war hero’s story is on the big screen. Unbroken, a true story based on U.S. POW and 1936 Olympic runner Louie Zamperini will be released on Christmas Day. The timing could not be more perfect said director and producer Angelina Jolie, who was emotionally e

posted 9:57:52am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson Stars in Inspirational Show, ‘Wake Up Call’
“Wake Up Call,” a new reality series coming to TNT, is about inspiration and transformation. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson uses his personal story of triumph and determination to help everyday people, who are facing enormous challenges in their lives. The Rock, known for his distinguished wre

posted 12:05:11pm Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.