Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in 'Green Book' (Photo credit: © 2018 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved)

(Photo credit: © 2018 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved)

'Green Book' Writer Apologizes For Old Tweet About Muslims

January 11, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Green Book" co-writer Nick Vallelonga has apologized for a 2015 tweet about Muslims and 9/11 that has resurfaced a few days after the film won a Golden Globe Award.

In the tweet, he said then-presidential-candidate Donald Trump was "100% correct" that local television news in New York on 9/11 showed Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the towers came down, and he had seen it.

There is no evidence such celebrations occurred.

Jan 6, 2019; Beverly Hills, CA, USA; Nick Vallelonga, winner of Best Screenplay - Motion Picture during the 76th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC via USA TODAY NETWORK
(Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC via USA Today Network)

"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 said in a statement 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 added an apology to his late father Frank Anthony Vallelonga, an actor known professionally as Tony Lip, whose real-life befriending of black concert pianist Don Shirley was the basis for the film. Ali, who is Muslim, plays Shirley and Viggo Mortensen plays the elder Vallelonga.

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

Vallelonga has now deleted his Twitter account.

His old tweet began circulating Wednesday just as "Green Book" director Peter Farrelly was apologizing when a 20-year-old story emerged about him flashing his genitals to colleagues as a joke.

"Green Book" won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best musical or comedy movie.