Jewish film director Eli Roth has rushed to the defence of Russell Crowe, after the actor was criticised for calling circumcision "barbaric".
Mr Roth, whose work includes horror films Hostel and Cabin Fever, said Mr Crowe's detractors were "poisoning a very good person's name".
It came after the Gladiator actor engaged in a Twitter rant in which he said circumcision was something done by morons. He wrote: ""Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."
He went on to write, in a comment directed at Mr Roth, that he had many Jewish friends and loved "the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting your babies."
After Mr Crowe's comments were published around the world, Mr Roth wrote on Twitter that the Australian actor was "a great person, respectful of all religions" and said his comments were "a joke to a friend".
"People are taking a joke to ME on Twitter and are using it as an excuse to vilify a good man."
Mr Roth also condemned the media for "terrifying stars into not saying any jokes on Twitter".