Writer-producer Terry Rossio is facing backlash for tweets equating calling someone anti-vaccination with calling them the n-word. Rossio is best known for writing or co-writing the screenplays for such family friendly films as Disney’s 1992 Aladdin, plus Shrek, The Lone Ranger, Godzilla vs. Kong, and multiple Pirates of the Caribbean movies. His controversial tweets came during a vaccination debate with The CW’s The 100 writer Julie Benson.
Terry Rossio’s use of the full n-word in the context of the anti-vaccination movement was met with a strong response. He continued to reply to Julie Benson on the topic, adding the n-word again in a follow-up argument:
The conversation got increasingly heated due to the addition of the n-word, but this is not the first time celebrities have weighed in on the debate over vaccinations. Jimmy Kimmel even posted an anti-anti-vaccination PSA after a measles outbreak in the U.S. Jenny McCarthy has been particularly outspoken in questioning vaccinations, but later said she was not anti-vaccine, she just thought parents should ask questions and be aware and educate themselves.
As of now, Terry Rossio’s tweets are still up, and he is defending his position. Rossio is credited as the sole screenwriter of Godzilla vs. Kong, which is scheduled for release in 2020, following next year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Rossio has also been hired to write Warner Bros.’s Jonny Quest film. That movie just announced The LEGO Batman Movie‘s Chris McKay as director.
Viggo Mortensen recently apologized after using the full n-word during a panel discussion on Green Book. The context of his usage was in giving examples of speech that was common in the 1960s — when the film was set — but no longer used today. Mortensen’s co-star, Mahershala Ali, explained how using the full word is always hurtful in any context, but he accepted and embraced Mortensen’s apology.
Disney, Warner Bros., and Terry Rossio’s reps have yet to comment on Rossio’s tweets. The past year has seen many high profile people fired over controversial tweets, including Roseanne Barr from ABC/Disney’s Roseanne and James Gunn from Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. James Gunn’s controversial jokes were from nearly a decade ago, and his firing was hit with a massive fan backlash. Warner Bros. recently hired Gunn to write and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2.
Just last month, Terry Rossio tweeted about the 2019 Aladdin trailer, calling it “strange” that the only words spoken happened to be a rhyme that he and his writing partner wrote for the original film. He added that Disney “offers zero compensation to us (or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action re-makes) not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park.” The new Aladdin is scheduled to open May 24, 2019. Here’s what else is coming to theaters in 2019.