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A Beautiful Apology

Gere apologises over Shetty kiss

The kiss:

Actor Richard Gere has apologised for causing offence when he kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

The incident, at an Aids awareness event in Delhi, prompted public protests and then an arrest warrant for both stars over the “obscene act”.

Gere, 57, said he had misread Indian customs and that he regretted any problems he had caused Shetty.

You can read the whole story here, at BBC News.

I am guessing both Gere and Shetty got a lot of mileage out of the storm of publicity from his onstage behavior, and now he has graciously and sincerely apologized. Pardon my cynicism, but he has been in India before, I would think he would have been more sensitive.

Nonetheless, he made a beautiful apology. And I wonder why politicians don’t do the same? Why, when you realize you have stepped on someone’s toes, don’t you just make a full and gracious apology? No, it doesn’t change what has happened, but it can sometimes calm the troubled waters.

What if the Danish papers had made a full and gracious apology for publishing the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed? It would not have changed the fact that they had been published, but it would not have hurt to acknowledge that they had hurt the sensitivities of a large portion of the world, and to apologize for the offence.

April 28, 2007 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Language, Locard Exchange Principal, News, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual, Words


  1. he knows alot about eastern culture ,, i find this normal but not for him. i mean hes well rounded

    Comment by bbuz | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. I found what he did unacceptable by any customs, since she obviously was shocked when he was kissing her. thus it was non consentual and doing it in front of the world doesnt give him the benifit of the doubt..
    I think he was at least a bit intoxicated to have done this stunt.

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  3. He’s an actor. I don’t know if he was drinking, but I think celebrities can get intoxicated by the cheering of the audience, etc. I am guessing he just forgot himself, forgot the constraints of the society and just . . . got carried away. What I like is that he quickly and thoroughly apologized, didn’t just make excuses or let it go.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. i want him to have an incident with me 😦

    Comment by nQ | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  5. LLLLooooooooLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! Nq! He’s old enough to be your grandfather!

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  6. I feel sorry for Richard, really I do. And no, I honestly don’t think Shilpa looks anything more than just a little bit frazzled at her incredible stroke of good luck with Gere; seeing the picture up above.
    Talk about double standards when the Bollywood sex siren Padmini Kolhapure had kissed Prince Charles a while back on his official tour of India but no one then had made as much about it since it was she who had made the first move. Can we call this sexual harassment of the Windsors at the hands of a Bollywood diva? I should think not.
    I think the right wing everywhere have nothing better to do than to take things too far to the right. One need only look at the hypersexualized content of Bollywood trash to appreciate, here; we have a society in sad denial of its rich roots in the genesis of the Kama-sutra and a laissez faire approach to life.
    Have the winds suddenly changed direction in the India I thought I knew so well?

    Comment by jumping translocation | May 1, 2007 | Reply

  7. Interesting point – can a woman damage a man’s honor by kissing him in this culture?

    I think they were having a good time onstage. I also think he caught her by surprise.

    And, no matter what the circumstances, I am really really glad he apologized, if he really offended cultural standards. To me, that’s a stand-up kind of thing to do, apologize when you are wrong.

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 1, 2007 | Reply

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