The "Dumb and Dumber" creator apologizes, while his most recent producing partner deletes his Twitter account.
UPDATED 9:50 a.m. on 1/11/19:
"Green Book" producer and co-writer Nick Vallelonga has apologized for his 2015 tweet supporting Donald Trump's claim he saw Muslims cheering in New Jersey after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.
"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,'" he said in a statement. "I especially deeply apologize to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused. 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."
"Green Book" had a wonderful Sunday at the Golden Globes, but the hangover this week has been rough.
The racial drama, starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, picked up three Globes -- Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Comedy and Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy -- and now the pasts of two key creatives involved is coming back to haunt them.
Director Peter Farrelly has apologized for frequently flashing his penis to, well, apparently a lot of people, back in the '90s, and the film's producer and co-writer, Nick Vallelonga, has been flagged for supporting President Donald Trump's wild claim that there were crowds of Muslims cheering on 9/11 after the terror attack on the World Trade Center.
Peter, one half of the Farrelly Brothers filmmaking duo behind classic comedies "Dumb and Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary," responded to backlash brewing after 20-year-old interviews with Newsweek and The Observer resurfaced to expose a brand new generation of readers to his old habit of flashing his penis to friends and colleagues as a joke.
"True. I was an idiot," he said in a statement to The Cut. "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."
The Newsweek profile, headlined "Sibling Ribaldry," details how the Farrellys tricked Cameron Diaz and even Fox studio executive Tom Rothman into looking at Peter's penis. Diaz hasn't released a new comment on the matter, but she previously said this: "When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you’ve got to recognize the creative genius."
Rothman said, "I have been flashed. It wasn’t a pretty sight. In fact, I’m still recovering."
The Observer article is only available on Nexus, but The Cut provided the portion of Peter discussing the old prank that he used to think was hilarious.
Apparently, I say nervously, Peter showed Cameron his penis during the filming … Peter interrupts, horrified: ‘No. We did it before she was in.’ So you risked losing a big star by showing her your penis before she was on board? Peter smiles at my foolishness. ‘Of course! That’s what got her in.’ He stops smiling for a moment. ‘It’s a joke,’ he explains patiently. ‘It’s not like I make a habit of just whipping it out and saying, ‘Hey! Look! My cock!’ We do a joke where, it’s like, Bob says, ‘Pete’s been really crazy, he went out and spent $ 500 on a belt buckle.’ I go, ‘Bob, it’s an investment, it’s not a big deal.’ He says, ‘You’re stupid! $ 500 on a belt buckle!’ I say it’s not stupid … Finally she says, ‘Let me see it.’ And I lift my shirt and have it …’ he grins ‘hanging over.’
Peter admits that after doing this trick ‘easily 500 times’ he is now in a state of forced early retirement. ‘Tell me,’ I say, digesting this news and feeling a complex mixture of relief and disappointment, ‘which you find more tantalising, the thought of someone laughing at your penis, or the thought of someone laughing at your films?’ ‘Tantalising?!’ Bobby echoes, perhaps just a fraction alarmed.
Peter gives the issue some serious thought: ‘Boy, that’s a tricky one … I don’t like it when they laugh at my penis …’ he volunteers finally. ‘But I do like it when they stare.’
Meanwhile, actor Nick Vallelonga has been flagged for a 2015 tweet declaring, "[Donald Trump] 100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news."
The actor with 50 credits on his resume has since deleted his Twitter account.
Vallelonga, who is the son of the driver Mortensen portrayed in "Green Book," was a chief architect of the film that has been cleaning up on the awards season circuit. His tweet is especially awkward because Ali, who portrayed pianist Dr. Don Shirley, is a practicing Muslim. In fact, in 2017 he became the first Muslim to ever win the Best Actor Oscar after he took home the gold for his performance in Best Picture winner "Moonlight."
Vallelonga was echoing Trump's since-debunked claim he saw "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the Twin Towers fell in 2001.
"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering," Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview.