Richard Gere’s Career Affected by Criticism of China
LHASA, (ANI) – The 14th Dalai Lama’s idea of Universal Responsibility is that of a global responsibility that every human being should carry within and it is the biggest contribution of Tibetan culture to the world today, said Hollywood actor Richard Gere, a special guest at the 87th birthday celebrations of Dalai Lama at the seat of Tibetan government-in-exile in India, earlier this month.
“It’s important to the world, important to the universe, what the Tibetans have been able to achieve in promoting this ideal of a Bodhisattva, and a sense of universal responsibility”, remarked Gere. He believes that it is this idea of global accountability that is the biggest contribution of Tibetan culture to the world today and adds that humanity can benefit from such values derived from Tibetan culture.
According to Gere, it is the most important value/ lesson the rest of the world can learn from His Holiness and Tibetan culture. This can be achieved by understanding the deep sense of interconnectedness and responsibility for each other that saturates Tibetan Buddhism and culture.
“In saving Tibet”, according to Gere, “you save the possibility that we are all brothers, sisters”.
Chinese government has constantly targeted human rights activists or anyone who supports and echoes democracy in the country. But the Hollywood actor Richard Gere has always stood up against tyranny and has been spreading greater awareness about the cause of Tibetan freedom and the value of Buddhist practice, refusing to budge in the face of threats and bans.
Gere said that his lack of roles is partly to do with his criticism of China’s occupation of Tibet. In his opinion, Hollywood is fearful of offending China which is now the second-biggest box-office market in the world.
The most defining moment in Gere’s activism for Tibet was the Academy Awards ceremony of 1993 when he chose to use the platform for talking about the human rights violations underway in Tibet.
“With the knowledge of what a horrendous, horrendous human rights situation there is in China, [and Tibet] I wonder if we could all send love and truth and sanity to Deng Xiaoping right now in Beijing if maybe he will take his troops, take them away from Tibet and allow these people to live as free, independent people again”, he said, going off script. China was not ready to, not surprisingly, take this lightly.
The actor has been banned for life from China and from future Oscar broadcasts.
Ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Richard Gere called for a “Declaration of Truth” about China’s oppression of the Tibetan people. He reiterated his demand that there needed to be more transparency regarding the human rights situation in Tibet; “You can’t participate in the Olympics and not talk about what’s going on negatively in China”.
Gere embracing of Buddhism started in the late 1970s when he travelled to Nepal and India where he met many Tibetan Buddhist monks. After meeting the Dalai Lama in India, he became a practicing Tibetan Buddhist of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism and an active follower and supporter of His Holiness, the Tibet Rights Collective report said.
Gere was also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tibet House US, dedicated to preserving Tibetan art, culture, and philosophy in 1987 and joined the Board of Directors at the International Campaign for Tibet in 1992. He has served as its Board Chairman since 1995.
The Golden Globe Winner has faced rejections from the Hollywood industry and has been at the receiving end of the hyper-nationalistic Chinese cyber army’s ire because of his vocal stance on Tibet.