Richard Gere hugged and kissed Shilpa Shetty on stage in India.
I generally don't pay attention to the comings and goings of the man-children that inhabit Hollywood. Richard Gere's Indian imbrolio, however, is eminently newsworthy and deserving of analysis. It reminds us of the continuing existence of sexism, racism and colonial arrogance in the world.
A person who sees that in a kiss -- an affectionate gesture -- is a fanatic. Furthermore, Akram devalues real sexism and racism by unloading on such a trivial incident involving two different celebrities.
Here's what Shilpa Shetty had to say:
"I understand this (kissing) is his culture, not our's. But this was not such a big thing or so obscene for people to overreact in such a manner."
"I understand people's sentiments, but I don't want a foreigner to take bad memories from here," Shetty said.
I still remember watching her first movie (Baazigar) in Pakistan in 1994 with some relatives. In the filim, Shilpa appeared in a swimsuit for the obvious reason of showing some skin. A husband of a relative who was also watching the movie started talking about how that lewd filthiness was going to be the end of Islamic civilization; as though watching Indian actresses in skimpy clothing was the major problem of Muslims or Pakistanis.
It's amusing to read the same level of analysis today.