Lady Gaga, Richard Gere and Sharon Stone are part of a swathe of Hollywood A-listers who have been quick to make the most of a photo opportunity with the Dalai Lama.
But they have all remained deafeningly silent after a controversial video of him kissing a young Indian boy on the lips before asking him to ‘suck’ his tongue emerged.
Footage of the uncomfortable incident showed the moment the Tibetan spiritual leader invited the boy on stage during a charity event at his temple in Dharamshala, India in February.
It went viral on social media and triggered heavy criticism from charities including from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, a US organization that supports the survivors of spiritual and religious abuse.
The Dalai Lama, 87, apologized for his actions in a formal statement on Tuesday but his supporters have failed to criticize him.
Lady Gaga, 37, embraced the spiritual leader during a meeting in June 2016 where the pair pushed for more kindness in the world.
The 13-time Grammy-winning singer sat down to speak with the Dalai Lama at a conference in Indianapolis about the benefits of compassion and meditation and they were late pictured together.
He answered questions Gaga chose from social media about how to deal with injustices in the world live on Facebook.
‘I’m one 81-year-old person with quite a lot of experiences. My experiences much bigger than your experiences,’ the Dalai Lama joked.
While she replied: ‘You didn’t know this, but I’m much older than you, joked Gaga.
Hollywood icon Richard Gere, 73, attended the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday celebration in Dharamshala last year.
The actor was seen shaking hands with the Buddhist spiritual leader after he inaugurated a museum containing the archives of the institution of the Dalai Lama.
‘I was able to meet his Holiness Dalai Lama in Dharamshala 40 years ago, which clearly changed my life,’ he said at the event.
In the controversial video which has gone viral, the boy asks the Dalai Lama ‘can I hug you?’, to which Tenzin Gyatso responds: ‘Okay – come!’
The spiritual leader first asks the boy to kiss him on the cheek, before pointing at his lips. He holds the boy’s face as they briefly kiss, then the pair press their foreheads together.
Just as the boy goes to pull away, the Dalai Lama instructs him: ‘And suck my tongue’ – prompting him to slowly inch forward towards the 87-year-old’s outstretched tongue.
Attendees of the event, held by India’s M3M Foundation, can be heard laughing as the boy sits awkwardly in front of the aged Tibetan Buddhist leader and nervously follows his orders.
Before letting the child go, the Dalai Lama imparts some wisdom, telling him to ‘look to those good human beings who create peace, happiness’ and not to ‘follow those human beings who always kill other people’.
Some supporters of the Dalai Lama sprang to his defense, claiming their leader was simply ‘joking around’.
While the political leader of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration defended him and insisted he was only showing his ‘innocent grandfatherly affectionate demeanor