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‘Green Book’ writer apologizes for Islamophobic tweet: ‘I will do better’

“Green Book” screenwriter Nick Vallelonga apologized on Friday after gaining negative attention for an old tweet that expressed support for President Trump’s false claim that Muslims in New Jersey cheered the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Vallelonga said Friday that a 2015 tweet calling Trump’s claim “100% correct” was hurtful, but did not address claiming that he “saw” Muslims “cheering when towers went down” during the terrorist attacks, “possibly on local CBS News.”

{mosads}“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,” Vallelonga wrote in a statement to Deadline Hollywood.

“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, referring to the “Green Book” and “True Detective” star. “I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from Dr. [Don] 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.”

Participant Media, the film’s distributor, also issued a statement to the website condemning the message in 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,” the company wrote.

Vallelonga won a Golden Globe this week for his work as a co-writer on “Green Book,” which tells the story of Shirley, a black classical pianist, and his white bodyguard and driver, Frank Vallelonga, Nick Vallelonga’s father. Shirley and Frank Vallelonga are played by Ali and Viggo Mortensen, respectively.

The film had grossed more than $36 million in domestic box office sales as of Friday and is considered a likely Academy Award contender.

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