Ambassador d’Amour: Richard Gere pulls a Pepé Le Pew on Shilpa Shetty.
Who’d have ever imagined that serene Buddhist actor and do-gooder Richard Gere would be burned in effigy by angry Hindu throngs all over India? The outcry erupted Sunday after Gere dipped Indian starlet Shilpa Shetty and kissed her face multiple times at an AIDS-awareness event.
In the latest controversy, individuals in Mumbai belonging to the right-wing Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena set fire to images of Shetty and beat burning effigies of Gere with sticks.
Protests also erupted in other cities, including Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city, and in the northern town of Meerut, where crowds chanted “Down with Shilpa Shetty”.