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According to Olivier Francois, Chief Executive Officer of Lancia, Richard Gere was chosen for a recent ad for the Lancia Delta because he "is not merely a fine actor; not merely one of the most famous men in the world. He is a man with a great difference: the ability to combine talent, fame and style with great character. I'm talking about his commitment to peace." That affinity for peace stretches especially towards the people of Tibet, a people who's autonomy from China Gere supports.

This commercial, which you can watch after the break, features Gere driving a new Lancia Delta from Hollywood to Tibet in just 30 seconds and aired in Italy. After reports of the commercial appeared in Chinese newspapers, China was apparently none too happy about it. Fiat has decided to apologize, with a company spokesman saying, "Fiat Group extends its apologies to the Government of the People's Republic of China and to the Chinese people."

Our opinion? Gere's alright in Pretty Woman, but not much else after that. Apologies are usually pretty lame, but we'd appreciate one for Gere's horrible singing in Chicago as long as they are being handed out so freely. And how 'bout one for that Lancia's front end?

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw the Republic of China! They can try and squash and terrorize their own poor people from saying what they want...and expressing themselves...but they can't do it to everyone! I wouldn't apologize to their sick asses for nothin'!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think the front end design is that bad. It sort of resembles an upmarket merger of the Mazda3 and Pontiac Vibe (as does the rest of the car's exterior design). Compared to the Toyota Corolla and current U.S. Focus (both of which look completely hideous), it is definitely much better looking.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree, that's a nice looking car. I would definitely consider buying one if they were available here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That kid's hand made 6 finger-marks!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it is a beautiful commercial. I was very moved.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why do we feel the need to apologize to the rest of the world all the time, while at the same time handing them money we never see again???
      • 7 Years Ago
      why not just tell china to go to hell. how many apoligys(no I cant spell) has china given for all the bad dog food we have got or the bad tooth paste they sent us or all the lead painted toys they send us to kill our children, 0 thats how many. I say stop all trade with china
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just dont see what is SO offensive with an ad for a car....its only meant to spark interest in the product, not have political undertones. If it has a political mirror to it I'm sure the main focus is to SELL the product. And the comment about Texas, Hawaii and California is just so tiresom to read.......just leave if it so terrible being an American. I am proud of my country, even with all of its faults.
      • 7 Years Ago
      dear folks
      with regard to the commercial itself, its pretty classy. he never says a word. thats pretty clever i think. whether or not one agrees with his politics he is willing to put his money where his mouth is. and we in this country shouldn't have too much to say on the china issue since anything we buy in sears or pennys or babys r us has a made in china lable on it!! check it out.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apologize to China!
      Here is a country who has sold us poisoned food, deadly medicines, lead-based painted childrens' toys, deadly pet food and dumped government subsidized materials on our markets at below cost prices to destroy our manufacturing industries and WE worry about their feelings?
      China has displayed brutality to its citizens and to those that they have conquered, constructed poorly built schools for the children who are not members of their elite families and we want their respect?
      They have dishonored numerous agreements that they have made both in the private and global sectors.
      The idea of watching or doing business with any entity that is associated with the Olympics is ludicrous. I say this, not on a political level, as those who wish to obfuscate the situation are want to do, but simply on the basis that you can't deal with those who are unethical.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What you Chinese government workers being told what to say. were are allowed to say what we want. Dont you know the whole world laughs at you and we use your country just to pollute it. all western countries will pull the pin when were have had enough and you idiots have completely polluted your mother country
      Margi Spencer
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh please. Can we please make an ad, just an ad, and someone not become offended and someone else not have to apologize? It's an ad, for Pete's sake, not the search for the Holy Grail or Confucius lost scroll!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I imagine Gere really enjoys the look and feel of the fine gerbil-skin seats.
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