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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Oscar favourite Green Book’s writer apologises for old tweet about Muslims

"Green Book" screenwriter Nick Vallelonga has issued an apology for an anti-Muslim tweet from 2015.

hollywood Updated: Jan 12, 2019 18:01 IST
AP
AP
A scene from Green Book starring Mahershala Ali.
A scene from Green Book starring Mahershala Ali.
         

Green Book co-writer Nick Vallelonga has apologised for a 2015 tweet about Muslims and 9/11 that has resurfaced a few days after the film won a Golden Globe Award. In the tweet, he said then-presidential-candidate Donald Trump was “100% correct” that local television news in New York on 9/11 showed Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the towers came down, and he had seen it.

There is no evidence such celebrations occurred.

“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,” Vallelonga said in a statement 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 added an apology to his late father Frank Anthony Vallelonga, an actor known professionally as Tony Lip, whose real-life befriending of black concert pianist Don Shirley was the basis for the film. Ali, who is Muslim, plays Shirley and Viggo Mortensen plays the elder Vallelonga.

“Green Book is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better,” the statement said. Vallelonga has now deleted his Twitter account.

His old tweet began circulating Wednesday just as Green Book director Peter Farrelly was apologizing when a 20-year-old story emerged about him flashing his genitals to colleagues as a joke. "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."

Green Book won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best musical or comedy movie.

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 18:01 IST

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