Nick Vallelonga has been one of the new bright stars of the 2018 movie awards season, thanks to his screenplay for Green Book. The crowd-pleaser, about a white racist from the Bronx (Viggo Mortensen) who befriends an esteemed black pianist (Mahershala Ali), has earned raves and accolades, most recently the trophy for the Best Picture — Musical or Comedy award at this Sunday’s Golden Globes. But now Vallelonga is under fire for an old, polarizing tweet, in which he enthusiastically endorsed President Trump’s thoroughly debunked claim that Muslims celebrated 9/11.
The tweet, like many such potentially damaging tweets, hails from long before Vallelonga had achieved crossover success. In 2015, then-presidential nominee, at one of his rallies, doubled down on his (again) discredited charge that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.
Vallelonga then tweeted his support of the future 45th president: .@RealDonaldTrump 100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news.