‘Green Book’ Screenwriter’s Resurfaced Anti-Muslim Tweet Sparks Backlash

A “Green Book” screenwriter has deleted his Twitter account after facing backlash for a resurfaced 2015 tweet that echoed an anti-Muslim conspiracy theory touted by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump

Nick Vallelonga, who along with writers Peter Farrelly and Brian Currie won a Golden Globe on Sunday for best original screenplay, tweeted in November 2015 that Trump was “100% correct” when he said that “Muslims in Jersey City” had been seen on television cheering the 9/11 attacks. Vallelonga was referring to an assertion made by Trump that “people over in New Jersey … a heavy Arab population” had celebrated the fall of the twin towers. There is no evidence that this ever happened.

On Wednesday, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz lambasted Vallelonga’s tweet as “disgusting” and pointed out that actor Mahershala Ali, who stars in “Green Book,” is Muslim.

Vallelonga’s manager confirmed to BuzzFeed that the 2015 tweet was authentic. The screenwriter has since deactivated his Twitter account.

As Variety noted, this isn’t the first controversy to befall “Green Book,” which won three Golden Globes on Sunday including best motion picture and best performance by a supporting actor for Ali in the musical or comedy category.

In November 2018, actor Viggo Mortensen, who also stars in the film, came under fire for using the n-word during a Q&A session. Mortensen later apologized for the slur and said he “will not utter it again.”

“Green Book” director Peter Farrelly apologized on Wednesday after the resurfacing of a 1998 Newsweek article which included descriptions of how he’d flashed his penis on film sets.

“True. I was an idiot,” Farrelly said in a statement, according to the AP. “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” is based on the real-life experiences of Vallelonga’s father, Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (played by Mortensen), who was hired in the 1960s to escort a black concert pianist named Dr. Don Shirley (played by Ali) around the Jim Crow South.

Shirley’s family has sharply criticized the film, calling the depiction of the pianist and his friendship with the elder Vallelonga a “completely inaccurate caricature.”

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