Richard Gere Boards Humanitarian Ship Carrying Migrants

Richard Gere boarded a Spanish humanitarian ship that has been stuck in limbo in the Mediterranean Sea for more than a week because no government in Europe will welcome the 121 migrants who are on board. 

Gere boarded the boat, dubbed Open Arms, about 27 nautical miles off of Lampedusa, an island off of southern Italy, according to reports. Open Arms faces a fine of 1 million euros if it enters Italian waters. 

Gere boarded the ship to lend his star power to their cause, and also bring food and supplies to the migrants. 

“The most important thing for these people here is to be able to get to a free port, to get off the boat, to get on land and start a new life,” Gere said, urging the world to “please support us here on Open Arms and help these people, our brothers and sisters.”

On social media, some supported Gere’s humanitarian efforts, while others slammed him as a “multi-millionaire” who ought to “put some of them up in (his) own home.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini mocked him, writing (translated, via Fox): “Richard Gere on Open Arms? I hope he gets tanned and he feels alright…Since this ship is a Spanish NGO, they can unload the passengers at Ibiza or Formentera, right?”