Russell Crowe sorry for anti-circumcision tweets?

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June 13, 2011 7:00 AM EST

Australian actor Russell Crowe has apologized for his controversial tweets against circumcision, a ritual practiced by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  Thursday night, he said in his Twitter account, "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid.  Who are you to correct nature?  Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."

As followers began to tweet Crowe that the medical procedure is for hygiene, he countered at the microblogging service, "Hygenic? Why don't you sew up your a** then?"

Crowe, who has three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, the next day removed the tweets and apologized, "My personal beliefs aside I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry."

Crowe, 47, had also directed some tweets at his friend Eli Roth.  "I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies @eliroth," he wrote.  Crowe later tweeted the actor-director, "I love @Eliroth, the way a man loves a bear".  He later said that he was only teasing Roth.

The incident comes as a group in California, calling themselves "intactivists", has led efforts to call for measures that would ban the medical procedure, calling it "male genital mutilation."  Voters in San Francisco vote on a measure in November that, if approved, would outlaw circumcision.

"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," said Crowe, who won the Academy Award for best actor for Gladiator.

Crowe also voiced pro-abortion stance over Twitter.  "Abortion should always be a woman's choice, there is no benefit to 'forced' motherhood."

Crowe has a reputation for having a bad temper and has been involved in a number of altercations.  In 1999, Crowe was involved in a scuffle at the Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour, Australia, which was caught on security video.

Crowe is set to appear in the martial arts movie The Man with the Iron Fist in December.

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