Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Russell Crowe: Yes to Apples and Honey, No to Circumcision

Phone-throwing Oscar winner Russell Crowe has come out swinging against circumcision — specifically the Jewish kind — in a Twitter rant he subsequently retracted (sort of).

Calling the ritual “barbaric and stupid,” Crowe said he “love[s] my Jewish friends,” but that ” if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and f**k off, I’ll take attentive parenting over barbarism.”

The punctuation-impaired actor explained that “I will always stand for the perfection of babies, i will always believe in God, not man’s interpretation of what God requires,” asking, “Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin?”

The “Gladiator” star directed one of the posts at Jewish director Eli Roth, with whom he worked on the upcoming “The Man With the Iron Fists.” Roth responded via a tweet of his own, “You didn’t seem to be complaining when I was recutting you this afternoon…”

Crowe seems to have had second thoughts about the tone of his tweets, which dismissed medical justifications for circumcisions in terms too graphic for a wholesome, family-friendly blog such as the Shmooze. He later deleted some of the posts, and wrote, “I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities, I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress.”

It should be noted that not all of Crowe’s beliefs about Jewish tradition are hostile: In the first set of tweets, he praised “the funny little hats” and said he “love[s] the apples and honey.”

And, to be fair, he’s an expert on barbarism and stupidity: The famously volatile actor once pleaded guilty to assaulting a hotel employee (those annoying little people!) with a telephone.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover. 

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.