‘Green Book’ writer apol­o­gizes for 9/11 tweet

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AFP) — “Green Book” screen­writer Nick Val­le­longa has is­sued an apol­ogy for an anti-Mus­lim tweet from 2015 in which he ex­pressed sup­port for false claims that Mus­lims were cel­e­brat­ing in New Jer­sey fol­low­ing the 9/11 ter­ror at­tacks.

“I want to apol­o­gize. I spent my life try­ing to bring this story of over­com­ing dif­fer­ences and find­ing com­mon ground to the screen, and I am in­cred­i­bly sorry to ev­ery­one as­so­ci­ated with Green Book,” he said in a state­ment late Thurs­day.

“I es­pe­cially deeply apol­o­gize to the bril­liant and kind Ma­her­shala Ali, and all mem­bers of the Mus­lim faith, for the hurt I have caused,” he said.

“I am also sorry to my late fa­ther who changed so much from Dr Shirley’s friend­ship and I prom­ise this les­son is not lost on me. ’Green Book’ is a story about love, ac­cep­tance and over­com­ing bar­ri­ers, and I will do bet­ter.”

Ali, who is Mus­lim, on Sun­day won a Golden Globe award for his role as the real-life pi­ano vir­tu­oso Don Shirley in “Green Book.” The film, which picked up two other Golden Globes and is ex­pected to be nom­i­nated for the Os­cars, re­counts the un­likely friend­ship be­tween Shirley, who was black, and his driver, Tony Lip (Val­le­longa’s fa­ther), dur­ing a con­cert tour through the deep south in 1962.

Val­le­longa deleted his Twit­ter ac­count after the con­tro­ver­sial tweet dat­ing back to Novem­ber 2015 re­cently resur­faced on so­cial me­dia.

The tweet came in re­sponse to then can­di­date Don­ald Trump’s claim that he saw thou­sands of peo­ple cheer­ing in Jer­sey City after the ter­ror at­tacks.

“@re­al­Don­aldTrump 100% cor­rect,” Val­le­longa wrote at the time. “Mus­lims in Jer­sey City cheer­ing when tow­ers went down. I saw it, as you did, pos­si­bly on lo­cal CBS news.”

Par­tic­i­pant Me­dia, which co-fi­nanced and pro­duced “Green Book,” has also re­leased a state­ment de­nounc­ing Val­le­longa’s tweet.

“We find Mr Val­le­longa’s Twit­ter post of­fen­sive, dan­ger­ous and an­ti­thet­i­cal to Par­tic­i­pant Me­dia’s val­ues. We re­ject it in no un­cer­tain terms,” it said.

Ear­lier this week, the film’s direc­tor, Peter Far­relly, was also in hot wa­ter be­cause of sto­ries in sev­eral me­dia out­lets in 1998 re­count­ing his habit of flash­ing his pe­nis as a prank.

He is­sued a state­ment on Wednes­day apol­o­giz­ing for his be­hav­ior.

“True. I was an id­iot. I did this decades ago and I thought I was be­ing funny and the truth is I’m em­bar­rassed and it makes me cringe now. I’m deeply sorry.”

EPA-Yon­hap

“Green Book” co-screen­writ­ers Brian Cur­rie, right, and Nick Val­le­longa ar­rive for the Na­tional Board Of Re­view Gala at Cipri­ani 42nd street in New York, Jan. 8. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Val­le­longa, who won the Golden Globe for best screen­play for the movie “Green Book,” has deleted his Twit­ter ac­count after an anti-Mus­lim 9/11 tweet from Novem­ber 2015 resur­faced.

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