Green Book writer apologises for anti-Muslim tweet from 2015
Golden Globe-winning Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga has issued an apology for an anti-Muslim tweet from 2015 in which he expressed support for false claims Muslims were celebrating in New Jersey following the 9/11 terror attacks.
He said in a statement last Thursday: "I want to apologise. 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.
"I especially deeply apologise to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused. I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from 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, won the Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor award on Jan 7 for his role as the real-life piano virtuoso Don Shirley in Green Book.
The comedy-drama, which also won Vallelonga the Best Screenplay award and picked up the Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy award, and is expected to be nominated for the Oscars.
The film 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 the 60s.
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 per cent 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." - AFP