The “Gladiator” actor joked on Twitter that, “I love my Jewish friends. I love the apple and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies”
What is it with penises and Twitter?
First, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner tweeted pictures of his. Now Russell Crowe has tweeted about a particularly male appendage.
The actor stepped into it in a round of tweets Thursday.
Apparently, somebody else had tweeted about circumcision. The person said he had a son and asked, "Do you think I should get him circumcised."
So Crowe answered. And answered.
"Circumcision is barbaric and stupid," he tweeted. "Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."
He also wrote: "I will always stand for the perfection of babies, i will always believe in God, not a man's interpretation of what God requires."
And he typed: "last of it, if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and f**k off, I'll take iattentive parenting over barbarism."
The procedure is common in the United States. Recently, however, efforts began in San Francisco and Santa Monica to outlaw circumcision. In San Francisco, where a ballot question would make it illegal to perform circumcisions, the sponsor of the measure has been criticized for a comic book that many see as anti-Semitic propaganda.
The Santa Monica proposal has been withdrawn.
By Jewish tradition, males are required to be circumcised when they are 8 days old. Islam also requires circumcision.
So when Crowe's tweets came to the fore, they got under some peoples' skin.
Crowe and director Eli Roth are friends who frequently tease each other on Twitter.
Crowe even mentioned Roth by name in one tweet:
He meant no offense, he tweeted later:
"I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others," he typed Friday. "I am very sorry."
He also wrote: "I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities…"
As of mid-day Friday, the actor appears to have deleted most of the comments relating to circumcision.
Roth came to Crowe's defense after early media reports on the remarks implied they were anti-Semitic.
Crowe has donated to Jewish charities in the past. In 2004, the actor gave an undisclosed sum to restore the library of a Jewish school in Montreal after the building was firebombed in retaliation for Israel's killing of a Hamas spiritual leader.