@THR HOW DARE YOU call @russellcrowe antisemitic? What is WRONG with you? We are FRIENDS. Friends joke and tease each other. This is SICK.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyEli Roth

Russell Crowe is learning that Twitter is not the best place to joke with a friend about religious practices.

It all started with a tweet Crowe sent Thursday about his feelings on circumcision, saying the act “is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.” He followed this up with a tweet to director Eli Roth saying, “many jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies @eliroth.”

Roth sent a slightly inappropriate joke back to Crowe on Twitter, who finished the conversation with, “last of it, if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and [bleep] off, I'll take attentive parenting over barbarism.”

Well, the tweets were picked up by a number of outlets, including the Hollywood Reporter, who reported the tweets as an “anti-circumcision tirade.” Crowe deleted the tweets and issued an apology, saying, “My personal beliefs aside I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry.”

Roth seems to think some media outlets should be the ones apologizing for coverage of the Twitter conversation, saying in a statement that it “was clearly a joking exchange between friends, never to be taken seriously.”

“I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the media’s portrayal of Russell Crowe as an anti semite for making a joke to me on twitter,” Roth said in a statement. “Russell and I are great friends, and often tease each other publicly, as you can see from my response. ... Not one person from any media outlet contacted me to ask if it was a joke or not before running their vicious stories, which is indicative of a much more serious problem.”

The debate over circumcision is waging in areas outside the celebrity Twitter-verse, prompted in part by proposed a legal ban on the practice in San Francisco.

Read more about the circumcision issue at the Post’s On Faith blog.