By Devan Coggan
February 10, 2017 at 12:29 PM EST
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

At this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Richard Gere spoke out about President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, arguing that Trump’s “biggest crime” was equating refugees with terrorists.

After the premiere of his new drama The Dinner, Gere told reporters that Trump’s travel ban, which affects several Muslim-majority countries, was designed to stoke hatred and fear.

“That is his biggest crime, conflating those two words,” Gere said, according to Variety. “A refugee is someone who seeks refuge. It is someone we need to help. The number of hate crimes in the U.S. went up enormously when Donald Trump began running for president. There are leaders who spread fear.”

Gere added that the best way to fight back against the division and fear is to stand together. “We need to be more careful how we talk to each other,” he said. “We are all in this together. We are all human beings and we have to live together on this little planet.”

Gere stars in the adaptation of Herman Koch’s bestselling novel as a politician running for governor, and the thriller kicks off as he and his wife (Rebecca Hall) sit down to a luxurious dinner with his estranged brother (Steve Coogan) and sister-in-law (Laura Linney). Both couples’ sons have committed an unimaginable crime, and the two families have to decide how to proceed.

Discussing the film at the same press conference, Coogan also took aim at Trump, joking that Coogan’s unstable and angry character in the film suffered from a mental illness, “but compared to the President of the United States, it looks more like a mild headache.”

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