Paul Bettany Blasts New York City Police Boss Over Homeless Remarks
Actor Paul Bettany has blasted New York ‘s Police Commissioner for remarks he recently made about the Big Apple’s homeless problem.
Commissioner Bill Bratton suggested city residents who are upset about beggars and panhandlers in their neighborhoods should simply ignore them.
“My best advice to the citizens of New York City: If this is so upsetting to you, don’t give,” Bratton said at a recent press conference. “One of the quickest ways to get rid of them is not to give to them.”
The callous comments have upset Bettany, whose directorial debut, Shelter, deals with the homeless problem.
“That’s a f**king stupid idea to ignore the homeless, especially when there’s 60,000 of them on the streets,” said the Brit, who lives in New York with his actress wife Jennifer Connelly. “Over 24,000 of them will be children, staying in shelters in a city that’s home to more billionaires than any other city on earth. Half of New York City’s homeless population are families. In the last 10 to 15 years, this town has lost 32 percent of its housing. You’d be a fool and a communist to draw a line between 32 percent of public housing and 60,000 homeless people seeking shelter every night.”
“I think Mayor Bloomberg has done amazing things – for one the parks are beautiful and so they should be, because there’s a lot more f**king people sleeping in them!” the actor snarls.
“I can’t believe that someone would say, ‘Ignore the homeless!’ And frankly it’s absolutely the reason I think it’s urgent.”
Bettany reveals he spent three years making Shelter, in which Connelly plays a homeless drug addict, adding, “Forgive me if I get a little heated about this, because that sort of mentality just drives me up the wall. The homeless have been ignored for too long.”