Richard Gere: the iconic actor who separated in Hollywood after a controversial speech

It was in 1993 when the actor was at the height of his career thanks to films like “Pretty Woman”, however, he went completely out of the script and gave a speech in favor of human rights in Tibet, which began to make him close the doors. to Hollywood’s greatest hits.

Richard Gere has his place in the history of cinema, his emblematic films like “Pretty Woman” or “Chicago” elevate him to the rank of world star.

However, many years ago he stopped participating in major Hollywood blockbusters, and his name usually does not appear on the movie billboard.

Although he has devoted himself to undertaking certain projects, at 72 they are the least, considering that his life is already assured with the films he made in his youth and that today they are cult.

But why, if he had such a successful career, any minute now, did he stop appearing in major movie hits?

The explanation begins with a speech in 1993 and continues with an industry prioritizing his interests, about the career of an actor who had it all in old Hollywood.

Richard Gere
Richard Gere | american gigolo

Richard Gere: The 1993 Oscar Speech

It had only been 3 years since “Pretty Woman” was released and Richard Gere was at the top as one of the leading actors in Hollywood.

That year, 1993, the actor presented the Best Art Direction award at the Oscars and used his seconds on the live screen around the world to deliver a very different speech than they had. repeated, El País pointed out.

At that point, Richard took the moment to address Den Xiaping, the Chinese leader, wondering if he was watching the ceremony, while criticizing the human rights situation in China, calling it “horrible”.

However, it was not only that, but he also demanded that the Chinese leader take his troops and get the Chinese out of Tibet, saying “so that people can live as free and independent people again.”

The situation was a complete departure from the script for Gere, who used the instance to demonstrate his constant political activism and received applause from the audience.

The one who did not applaud that evening was Gilbert Cates, the director of the Academy. “For someone I invite to present an award to use this time to affirm a personal political belief, I think that’s not just outrageous, it’s disgusting and dishonest. Does anyone care about Richard Gere’s comments on China?

Cates was not only moved by Richard Gere’s words that evening, but also by speeches given by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, who spoke about 250 Haitians quarantined in Cuba for testing positive for HIV. . On occasion, Sarandon petitioned the US government to admit them as refugees to the United States, the Los Angeles Times noted.

Excluded from the Oscars and separated from Hollywood’s greatest hits

Richard Gere’s audacity at the 1993 Oscars resulted in him being banned for years from attending the ceremony and denied any nominations, not even in Chicago, a role for which he won a Golden Globe.

Although the most significant veto came from China, whose government was merely promoting Beijing to host the 2000 Olympics. In effect, Gere’s words meant that Sidney would keep the games that year.

Additionally, the actor was barred from entering his turf and also ruined Gere’s aspirations to continue as a top actor in Hollywood, as he was also not allowed to enter theaters. movies.

Richard Gere
Richard Gere | beautiful woman

According to what Vanity Fair collects, the actor had a project ready with a Chinese director, however, two weeks before the start of filming, they contacted him to say that he could not participate in the film.

“We had to keep this phone conversation secret on a secure line. If he had worked with that director, neither he nor his family would ever have been allowed to leave the country again and he would not have been able to work again,” said Richard Gere.

In this way, he began to be removed from film projects, this because Richard was jeopardizing any alliance the producers wanted to make with China.

The power of the Chinese is so strong that in 2008 Fiat had to apologize to China for recording an advertisement in which Richard Gere drove one of his cars through Tibet, El País pointed out.

A turning point in his career

Still, the actor managed to build a significant career in the 90s and 2000s. “I’m not interested in playing a wrinkled Jedi in the current summer movie,” he said.

“I’ve been successful enough for three decades that I can afford to do these little movies now,” he added.

In fact, he does not participate in particularly successful projects. He adopted the indie genre as his niche and was involved in successful but not top-tier films. One of the few exceptions was “Chicago” in 2002.

“The studios are interested in the possibility of making big profits. But I still do the same movies I did when I started. Interesting short stories focused on character and narrative. It hasn’t impacted my life at all,” the actor said in statements collected by Yahoo!.

Richard Gere
Richard Gere | The 76th Annual Golden Globes Awards

Although nearly three decades have passed since the incident, Richard is still behind China and I have no hesitation in testifying against him before the US Senate in a subcommittee dedicated to assessing the impact of the Chinese censorship over US economic interests. .

The actor pointed out that “the combination of Chinese censorship and the desire of American film studios to access the Chinese market can lead to self-censorship and ignoring the social issues that great American films once addressed”.

He also said people in the Chinese film industry told him they couldn’t work with him because it would end their careers.

His activism continues as it is, at 72, he is married to Alejandra Silva, an activist for social responsibility in Spain, with whom he already has two children.

Richard Gere and his wife Alejandra Silva
@alejandragere | instagram

In his humanitarian work, he continues, according to Yahoo! the actor participates in ecological campaigns and promotes AIDS awareness initiatives and foundations in India, with the creation of care centers for women and children suffering from this disease.


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