Russell Crowe has branded circumcision "barbaric and stupid".

The 'Gladiator' actor launched a rant on twitter against the practice of cutting off a boy's foreskin - a Jewish religious requirement, a Common Muslim practice and a standard procedure on newborns in the US - describing it as "immoral".

Russell - who raises two sons, Charlie, seven, and Tennyson, four, with wife Danielle - tweeted: "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect. (sic)"

The tweet was in response to one of Russell's 228,000 followers, who asked his advice as to whether they should get their unborn baby "circumstanced (sic)".

This prompted Russell to reply: "Here's a life rule, if you can't spell it, don't do it. (sic)"

After his comments, more people joined the discussion, both in favour and against the 'A Beautiful Mind' star's opinion.

To users who said circumcision was for hygiene reasons, Russell replied: "Hygienic? Why don't you sew up your a** then? (sic)"

When another user brought up the bris ceremony, when a newborn Jewish boy undergoes the procedure, he retorted: "Honestly you are comparing sexual mutilation with a Jewish ceremonial act?!

"Can you actually read the words you just typed "a ceremonial act"? F**K that. The Mayans had ceremonial acts too (sic)."

Russell was quick to defend his viewpoint and make it clear he is not anti-Semitic, however, adding:"Many jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting your babies @eliroth (sic)"

Russell is currently working with director Eli Roth on a new film, who replied to his tweet, joking: "You didn't seem to be complaining when I was recutting you this afternoon. (sic)"