Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe today defended his verbal attack on a television executive after his acceptance speech was cut from a broadcast of the Bafta awards.
The fiery star of A Beautiful Mind said he had nothing to apologise for but admitted he may have been more ‘‘passionate’’ than necessary.
Crowe said: ‘‘This was just me standing up for myself.
‘‘If you know anything about me you know I am going to stand up for myself if I believe I’ve been wronged.’’
Crowe caused a storm after it emerged he took Malcolm Gerrie, whose company, Initial Productions, made the programme for the BBC, aside after the show and gave him a verbal dressing down.
The actor was upset by the axing of a poem he read out at Sunday night’s glitzy ceremony as he picked up his best actor prize.
Crowe pointed out that his whole acceptance speech was only a minute and 50 seconds long.
And he said of Gerrie: ‘‘He’s not battered, he’s not bruised and he’s not bloodied. His ears will be ringing though.’’
‘‘I have no regrets about what I said to him.’’
But Crowe conceded: ‘‘What I said to him may have been a little bit more passionate than now, in the cold light of day, I would have liked it to have been.’’
Crowe won the best actor Bafta award for playing troubled maths genius John Nash in A Beautiful Mind.
Last year he won a best actor Oscar for Gladiator and this year he is nominated for an Oscar for his performance in A Beautiful Mind.
In a statement after Sunday’s awards a spokesman for Initial said: ‘‘All we’re saying is that Russell Crowe was abusive and behaved very unreasonably.
‘‘We told people accepting that they must keep their speeches to a minimum because we were conscious of the time constraints.
‘‘They were told this three times. As with many other winners his speech over-ran and he was not the only one who was edited.’’
The decision was made in collaboration with the BBC, the spokesman said.