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


  • Jeannie L.
    07/19/2020 02:32

    Félicitations à ce grand acteur si humble, courageux. Bravant les bourrasques qui l'empêchait d'y aller. Richard Gere à montré combien la vie est importante, combien aider, sauver, donner des instants précieux de sa vie pour sauver celle des autres " Honneur, gloire, Paix " font de cette homme un grand coeur, une joie qui fait que l'on est estimé de tous. Merci pour votre bravoure <3 Vous avez acquis le fait de grandir dans l'amour de l'autre … <3

  • Lendvai T.
    08/22/2019 08:51

    I hope the next man going to be trump with Mexican

  • David M.
    08/15/2019 07:50

    Ecco un'altro che non ha capito un [email protected]@o....

  • Mark J.
    08/15/2019 07:24

    Richard G. Is better in Hollywood & in make believe. Pres Trump could fix this if he were president of Italy but he does not usurp their authority like Richard G.

  • Mary B.
    08/14/2019 16:39

    Italy has taken hundreds of thousands of refugees over the years, but the situation has become unsustainable, as Italy is NOT equipped to deal with such a large influx of people.

  • Lauryn A.
    08/14/2019 00:24

    This is not the answer. ...It is not good to just pull people out of the river, we have to go upstream to find the cause- Desmond Tutu

  • Emanuela P.
    08/13/2019 17:49

    Please dear Richard my myth go before to Mexico where you know better the situation! Here in the old Europe is already hard for us to understand, for you is impossible

  • ወኢ አ.
    08/13/2019 11:38

    They are adulterous people who must enjoy all the rights stipulated by the United Nations in 1951

  • Gina P.
    08/13/2019 11:23

    Has he noticed how many men are on that boat.