‘Green Book’s’ Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga come under fire for past behavior
The minds behind the acclaimed film “Green Book” are dealing with some renewed scrutiny about their past just days after winning big at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.
Director Peter Farrelly and co-writer/producer Nick Vallelonga each are facing separate backlashes. For Farrelly, the director of comedies including “Dumb and Dumber” and “Shallow Hal,” the criticism hinges on reports that he regularly exposed his genitals as an on-set prank. For Vallelonga, it was a past tweet supporting President Trump’s baseless 2015 claims that Muslims in New Jersey cheered on the events of 9/11.
The Cut on Wednesday resurfaced a 1998 Newsweek story indicating that Farrelly and his brother Bobby had a running gag that involved the former flashing his penis at people, creating clever ploys to trap unsuspecting viewers.
In the story, “There’s Something About Mary” star Cameron Diaz was quoted saying, “When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you’ve got to recognize the creative genius.” And Fox executive Tom Rothman concurred that he also had been flashed.
The site also cited an Observer story from the same year in which Farrelly admitted showing his privates “easily 500 times” as a joke, and that the behavior was regarded as a running prank rather than what many now, in the wake of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements, consider sexual misconduct.
In a statement to The Times on Thursday, Farrelly said the antics were true and apologized for his past behavior, adding, “I was an idiot.”
“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,” Farrelly said.
Hours after Farrelly’s flap, Vallelonga’s tweet resurfaced and quickly went viral as a warning to Oscar voters. “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz was among the many who highlighted the tweet and gave it a bit of context.
Horowitz defended the film’s Muslim star, Mahershala Ali, who also won a Golden Globe for his role in “Green Book” and starred in 2016’s “Moonlight,” which edged out “La La Land” for the best-picture Oscar in 2017.
“Nick Vallelonga wrote Green Book. My industry just gave him a Golden Globe for writing. This remains on his timeline,” Horowitz tweeted, sharing Vallelonga’s years-old tweet. “Mahershala Ali is a Muslim, and a beautiful, generous and kind man. This is all just too disgusting.”
Vallelonga’s offending tweet has since been deleted, and so has his Twitter account.
The film has sustained quite a bit of bad press already. In November, star Viggo Mortensen had to apologize for using a racial epithet during a question-and-answer discussion.
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