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

'Left Behind' is Fast Approaching
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrXe8YDbzYs[/youtube] Many are getting excited as “Left Behind” is fast approaching theaters based on the best-selling books by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Jordan Sparks, and Lea Thompson, whose c

posted 4:18:05pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Documentary ‘The Boomer List’ Highlights American Achievements
19 American luminaries of the baby boom years (1946-1964) share their personal stories and achievements in the inspiring documentary, The Boomer List. Part of the American Masters series on PBS, The Boomer List invites viewers into the lives of a generation that were present during poignant momen

posted 12:37:10pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Tim Tebow Signs On To Inspire With GMA
Doesn't look like Tim Tebow will be returning to the NFL anytime soon. ABC released a press releasing stating that starting Monday, September 15th Tebow will launch the program's "Motivate Me Monday" series. The program will highlight amazing people and their inspirational stories of triumph and ove

posted 8:33:58am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

What Does Oprah Know For Sure?
Oprah Winfrey has become more than just a successful talk-show host, she is a legendary figure that everyone admires. Her heartfelt words of wisdom are felt within every interview and her mission statements are clear no matter what charity she is involved in. The one question that baffled even Opr

posted 10:07:15am Sep. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Trailer of The Good Lie
The Good Lie is a movie about the human spirit. Faith helps the Sudan refugees forge past the challenges that they are facing on their journey and provides them with the hope necessary to move forward. Reese Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis, an agent for an employment agency, who is assisting the Suda

posted 4:20:27pm Sep. 10, 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.