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
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  • Biljana J.
    08/12/2019 22:25

    Stick to acting

  • Brut
    08/12/2019 22:25

    “I already came to Lampedusa two or three years ago,” Gere said, “to visit the migrants hotspot so I knew the situation first-hand: they are people who have lived horrible stories, they have suffered a lot, they call them migrants but they are refugees who need help.”

  • Tim L.
    08/12/2019 22:26

    How they like when we boycott all goods from Italy!

  • Marjorie D.
    08/12/2019 22:28

    Thank you for helping people in need.

  • Ryan W.
    08/12/2019 22:30

    Help the poor people in this country, the veterans, the homeless etc..

  • Mona G.
    08/12/2019 22:31

    This crap needs to stop and hollywood ingrates need to STFU unless they want to give everything they own to these poor people.

  • Lina T.
    08/12/2019 22:31

    With all respect....I have a sudden need to get stranded over there...

  • Jim K.
    08/12/2019 22:34

    Idiot Gere gonna be financially responsible, some bullshit happens. Talking is easy walking isn't.

  • Claire N.
    08/12/2019 22:36

    But the same thing is happening now in America!!

  • Cary L.
    08/12/2019 22:37

    Ask why these people are leaving their countries, and why can't they go to other Arab/Muslim countries. Many of them are criminals and bad things are happening over in Europe and people don't realize that.

  • Macivan P.
    08/12/2019 22:38


  • Eugene M.
    08/12/2019 22:39

    Throw him in jail.

  • Mehmet S.
    08/12/2019 22:40

    As long as inequality continues between certain rich countries and rest of the world, this immigration problem will be intensified. That for sure. Also wars come out because of unjustness of sharing of the sources across the world. The solution isn't blaming Richard Gere or most likely someone else in the future. Eventually we all gotta solve this unbalance problem folks.

  • Martine S.
    08/12/2019 22:51

    The world of humans is sliding further and further right, to our great and permanent detriment as a civilization. My god, this shit is awful.

  • Janie W.
    08/12/2019 22:51

    Right on.we all need to take a stand against not really caring about human beings.what has our Great United States come to?Trump is going to be our downfall!!!

  • Paul R.
    08/12/2019 22:52

    I would like the benefits they all getting. My SSA is a joke

  • Louise D.
    08/12/2019 22:55

    Richard we are going to send them to your house and you can feed them and house them! You are such a Good guy! Good luck Richard! All yours baby

  • Silvia M.
    08/12/2019 23:00

    Poor italian migrants were received in America (continent) a lot if time ago... And now they don't want to help other people in need. Shame on you!

  • Richard P.
    08/12/2019 23:12

    he is a fucking idiot who knew??

  • Victor A.
    08/12/2019 23:18

    Where is the pope in all this why hasn't he put his two cents in he says that United States should open there borders but what about ITALY THE ITALIANS THINK THEY ARE SPECIAL OR WHAT THAT COUNTRY CAN AFFORD TO LET THOSE REFUGEES ON THEIR LAND ITS GODS LAND NOT THE ITALIANS THE POPE LIVES THERE SO IT IS GODS LAND WHAT HYPOCRITES