In 1993, Richard Gere, who is known for his roles in popular movies such as Pretty Woman and Chicago, was banned from attending the Oscars for twenty years after he made political comments while presenting an award for Best Art Direction. During his speech, he used the opportunity to raise awareness about the human rights situation in Tibet and urged the audience to send love and truth to Deng Xiaoping, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
Following his speech, Richard was reportedly banned from attending the Oscars for two decades. However, he attended the ceremony in 2003 when Chicago was nominated for Best Picture, and in 2013, he was invited back as a presenter. When asked about his ban, Richard commented that he had been “rehabilitated,” and it seemed that the organizers had forgotten about his ban.
Richard Gere is not the only actor who has used his platform at the Oscars to make political statements. Marlon Brando famously declined his Academy Award in 1973 to protest the portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood. Actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in his place to deliver his message. The Oscars have become a platform for celebrities to raise awareness about social and political issues, and it is unlikely that Richard Gere will be the last actor to be banned for making political comments.