Hollywood star Richard Gere has called upon the Italian government to assist migrants who have been stranded on a Spanish charity boat in the Mediterranean for more than a week.
The Italian government needed to stop “demonising people”, the actor said.
Mr Gere boarded the vessel on Friday, which has been blocked from entering Italian waters.
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini hit back, saying Mr Gere should take the 160 migrants to Hollywood.
“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.
Mr Gere, who visited the Open Arms ship in a show of support, joined a news conference on the Italian island of Lampedusa calling for the migrants to be allowed to dock.