Los Angeles, Jan 11 (PTI) “Green Book” screenwriter Nick Vallelonga has apologised for his past anti-Muslim comments that he posted on Twitter during the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
The 59-year-old writer, who recently won a Golden Globe for the film, found himself in a controversy after his old tweets resurfaced in which he claimed to have witnessed thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrate the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
The tweets were in response to US President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric where he had said that he saw Muslims celebrating with his own eyes, something that was debunked later.
“@realDonaldTrump 100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news,” Vallelonga wrote.
Soon after the tweet resurfaced, Vallelonga’s entire Twitter profile was deleted.
In a statement, Vallelonga apologised for the comments, especially to actor Mahershala Ali, who plays one of the leads in the Peter Farrelly-directed film.
“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’,” he said.
“I especially deeply apologize to the incredibly brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali and all members of the Muslim faith for the hurt I have caused,” he added.
The film is about a black concert pianist Don Shirley and his Italian-American driver Tony Vallelonga, who served as Shirley’s chauffeur on a series of concert tours in the largely segregated South.
Vallelonga is the son of Tony Vallelonga who is portrayed in “Green Book” by the actor Viggo Mortensen.
“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,” Vallelonga said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.