Richard Gere Clashes with Italy's Interior Minister Over Migrants

Richard Gere criticized Italy’s anti-migrant policy after he delivered supplies to migrants who are stranded on a boat in the Mediterranean. The country’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini then had some choice words for the actor.

Going backwards is not possible

Actor Richard Gere urged Italy’s leaders to shift their policy on migrants who have become stranded on a charity boat in the Mediterranean by drawing parallels to the similar crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. “They are demonizing human beings. This has to stop everywhere on this planet, now. And it will stop if we say stop. Gere had visited the Open Arms ship to deliver supplies and food to 160 migrants stranded on the boat which is not permitted to dock.

“We have also a president who is putting an enormous amount of energy into demonizing people, who are again running from fire. We never had problems with refugees coming from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, from Mexico. And this is very similar to what you are going through here and yet a very bizarre government who is intent are not solving the problem, which can be solved. These people don't want to go back. Going backwards is not possible. Where they came from was such a place of pain and inhumanity. They told me if, if when they got on these boats they didn't know where they were going to go. They didn't care as long as they were leaving Libya, leaving the pain.”

The migrants were put in limbo in international waters after Italy and Malta rejected requests to disembark them. Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini responded to Gere. In August 2019, Salvini pushed through a law that fines rescue boats up to $1.12 million or unauthorized entry into Italian waters. It also allows the arrest of ship captains if they ignore orders. As of August 4, 2019, 840 people have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2019 alone according to the International Organization for Migration. This is down by nearly half from a year earlier.


08/12/2019 10:27 PMupdated: 08/13/2019 1:36 PM


  • Maria H.
    04/05/2020 22:11

    Richard what you are doing is WRONG WRONG!!!!

  • Maria H.
    04/05/2020 22:10

    I cannot understand this man..just reach into your own pocket & others in Hollywood if you want to help these people. Make it your life mission you scumbag, but you do not have the right to burden other people with your ideals. Put them all in your House if that is what you want. Italy has gone through enough. Stop what you are doing to the Italians Richard!!!

  • Sandra M.
    09/30/2019 15:08

    Dtb Jesús!Que barbaridad!!Pobre gente sin destino fijo en medio Del Mar!

  • Patrick F.
    09/30/2019 15:06

    Hes trying to be nice but should have left your camera crew at home pr stunt

  • Tamara B.
    09/30/2019 14:56

    But why are thousands of people leaving their homes. They should know its not easy and really hard on the children!!!!? It's sad, especially for the kids but we, the US can't take care of the world. Have u seen our homeless Richard!?

  • Martha E.
    09/30/2019 12:08

    Es Mi novio Richard Gere gracias

  • Tim M.
    09/30/2019 10:10

    It's not up to any American to declare what Italy's policies are. Richard Here can invite them to his mansion anytime. Good luck

  • Eddie B.
    09/29/2019 16:45

    Go to where they come from, and help them, don't encourage them to take a dangerous voyage to someone else's country

  • Sharon E.
    09/28/2019 13:32

    The honest truth is this ... the world has evil in it. You will never rid the Earth of all the evil; its impossible. This idealistic thinking of were can save everyone is insanity. It's heartbreaking and heart wrenching. But if we don't put up an emotional "border" so to say the evil that exists in these refugees world will spread into ours. We need to go into their country and help them fix it. We can't destroy ourselves ... Richard Gere is genuine. He cares and has a heart .... he's just simply not realistic. When you are someone who never has to suffer... wonder how you will pay your bills, etc. It's easy to be that idealistic. He's not a jerk at all ... he doesn't want these people suffering ... but his method on how to stop their suffering I believe is off.

  • Thomas E.
    09/28/2019 08:40

    Well, maybe he should adopt some migrants...

  • John S.
    09/27/2019 14:31

    Where's his Gerbil ?

  • Todd M.
    09/27/2019 03:47

    Why don't you try helping them first

  • Todd M.
    09/27/2019 03:47

    What about all the homeless people in the United States

  • Todd M.
    09/27/2019 03:47

    Well take them to your house

  • Andre A.
    09/27/2019 03:18

    Another celebrity with his head in the clouds

  • Jeff M.
    09/27/2019 00:22

    Good for him

  • David R.
    09/26/2019 12:25

    I believe we have hungry homeless people living on the street in Los Angeles that could use help.

  • Teresa B.
    09/26/2019 05:29

    It amazes me how much some of these stars used to mean to me... I even have movies in a case that I can’t believe I bought... do I think there should be awareness... yes ... but be aware of what is happening to the countries that refugees have been admitted into....also , be aware of what is happening in your own country... where all the illegal’s have entered... look at your own wonderful state of California with all the homeless... how about an old saying ... “take care of your own backyard before u try an clean someone else’s “... my heart goes out to the innocent people that r on those boats and the innocent children that r dragged over our boarders... but how about u get off your soap box and go where they came from and help make it better there... use all the money u make from one of your films and buy clothes and food and take it there... help build houses there.. and help them go thru the proper channels to enter our country or others for that matter... but first start in California.. make sure the homeless children have food and clothes and medicine... please stop blaming our President for the problems that were created long before he took office!! Trump 2020!!

  • Paul B.
    09/26/2019 02:30

    He should be taking care of his own, there are children in the country starving and hes worried about others

  • Anthony R.
    09/26/2019 00:11

    The Battle is difficult... Most Countries are Struggling Themselves... There has to be a Global unification... One Goal ... Bring Control on Moral issues in each Country... Solve the problem within each nation.. Work where Migration begins... We all live in the same WORLD... MEN are the Problem... Greed is destroying humanity and taking Nature and Wildlife Into Mass Distruction... Which will bring Global Extinction to all Creatures that Walk the Earth...

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