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Russell Crowe Hits Back At Criticism Over His Housing Offer To Manus Asylum Seekers

The actor offered to accommodate six men held by Australia on Manus Island.

05/11/2017 9:47 PM AEDT | Updated 05/11/2017 9:47 PM AEDT
Eric Gaillard / Reuters
"The world is watching Australia [and] we look like assholes."

Russell Crowe has voiced frustrations on Sunday over criticism he has received for his offer to take and find work for six men held by Australia on Manus Island, after labelling the escalating crisis as "a nation's shame".

On Thursday, Crowe tweeted his belief that he could accommodate some of the 600 asylum seekers who are currently stranded on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, abandoned by the Australian government, fearful local residents could attack them if they leave the soon-to-close detention centre and worried local authorities will attack them if they stay.

Since then, the 'Gladiator' star has faced a barrage of criticism from people angered by his focus on foreign asylum seekers over struggling Australians.

In multiple separate posts to Facebook, Crowe's critiques questioned everything from his place in discussing politics to his ability to house just six of the asylum seekers despite being a Hollywood actor.

"Russell Crowe is another joke. He has no business interfering with the government process. His ill informed opinion is just regurgetated [sic] fodder from those with a political agenda," one post said.

On Sunday Crowe hit back in another series of tweets, saying the negative feedback "doesn't change that what Australia has done to these men on Manus is appalling".

Crowe's offer came as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said she would raise the issue with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, following the closure of the Manus Island detention centre, in their first meeting since she secured her country's leadership.

And while, during that meeting, Ardern offered on Sunday to take 150 asylum seekers currently in PNG and Nauru and accommodate them in New Zealand, Turnbull declined the offer -- instead prioritising Australia's existing refugee deal with the United States. Under that agreement, 1,250 refugees from the two Pacific nations will be resettled in the US.

The world is watching Australia & we look like a--holes.Russell Crowe

Meanwhile, the 600 asylum seekers still on Manus Island continue to face horrific conditions, faced by threats of violence, dehydration, starvation, no medicine, disease and heat -- a situation for which he UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has condemned the Australian government.

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