In a bizarre choice of words, “Pirates of the Caribbean” screenwriter Terry Rossio decided to compare being called an anti-vaxxer — a term used to describe those who don’t believe in vaccinations, especially for their school aged children — to being called the N-word.
According to Deadline, last week Rossio, who is best known for writing successful films such as Shrek, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Aladdin, lashed out at fellow writer Julie Benson after she tweeted out a request to donate vaccines.
“My heart goes out to all the parents of vaccine damaged children, who have to not only endure the sadness of their loss, but also the vitriol of ill-informed and insensitive people (such as those here),” he responded. “Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone a n****r and makes as little sense.”
His uncensored tweet shocked fans who didn’t believe that a debate about vaccinations was an excuse to spell out the racial slur.
“Racist & anti-vax, that’s some combination,” one user responded.
And even the official Dictionary.com Twitter account chimed in by saying: “The n-word is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed. The same cannot be said for the term ‘anti-vax.’”
Despite being the target of the attack, Benson was gracious in her reply and even asked for clarity: “Terry, I have a lot of respect for you and your career, but twice now you’ve come on my Twitter to insult me. What gives? Or am I reading this incorrectly?”
After a full day of being dragged by the internet, Rosario finally spoke up and issued an apology to those offended.
“In a recent Twitter post, arguing against stereotyping and hate speech, I referenced the ‘n-word’ (the actual word) as an example of what not to do,” he wrote. “That was a mistake. I am sorry. I now understand that the word has no place in any conversation, ever.”
“You can’t make a point against hate speech and reference actual words of hate speech,” he continued. “That was insensitive and ignorant. I am immediately deleting the post to remove that toxic word from the internet, where it should never appear in any context.”
“As the mistake was mine alone, this apology is also mine alone. A deeply felt apology to all. I continue to stand against hate speech and [dehumanizing labels] in any form,” he concluded.
“Too late. Everything on the Internet is written in stone,” replied an unmoved follower. “As a writer, you should be inherently aware that words have power and meaning.”
Everything on the Internet is written in stone. pic.twitter.com/6TH3M2jhuk
— John Cullen (@nellucnhoj) November 25, 2018
What are your thoughts, Grio fam. Did he make an honest mistake or go to damn far? Tell us your thoughts below.