'Green Book' writer apologizes for anti-Muslim 9/11 tweet

Los Angeles (AFP) –


"Green Book" screenwriter Nick Vallelonga has issued an apology for an anti-Muslim tweet from 2015 in which he expressed support for false claims that Muslims were celebrating in New Jersey following the 9/11 terror attacks.

"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," the Golden Globe-winning screenwriter said in a statement late 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 said, referring to the lead actor in the Oscar-nominated movie who is Muslim.

"Green Book is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better."

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% 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."

On Sunday, Vallelonga won a Golden Globe for co-writing "Green Book," a film about race relations in America.

Participant Media, which co-financed and produced the movie, has also released a statement denouncing 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," it said.