Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Terry Rossio has come under fire for using the N-word in tweets debating vaccinations. Rossio has written, or co-written, the screenplays for some pretty classic movies over the years, including Disney's original 1992 Aladdin, Shrek, 1998's Godzilla, the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, and multiple Pirates of the Caribbean installments. His latest writing was on social media, debating the topic of vaccinations with writer Julie Benson, which has caused quite a stir on social media for a few reasons.
Vaccinations is a hot topic debate at the moment, with people who fight passionately on both sides for their beliefs. With that being said, there are often dialogs that turn ugly pretty quickly since both parties care so deeply about the subject. This is where Terry Rossio got into some hot water before the weekend started. Rossio used the N-word in a tweet that compared the racial slur to the term "anti-vax." He explains.
"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). Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone a n*gger and makes as little sense."
While talking about vaccinations and children is already tense enough, many believe that Terry Rossio took it a step too far. Rossio is obviously very passionate about his stance, but it looks like he could have chosen a better comparison here, instead of using the N-word. Writer Julie Benson, who was debating the topic with Rossio had this to say in response.
"I'm pretty open minded and ready to be proven wrong, but all the scientific research I've read about this topic doesn't support that viewpoint. Feel free to show me otherwise, but please never come on my feed with the n word again."
Terry Rossio was unphased by the criticism of using the N-word, and instead doubled down on his original comment. He said, "Do you realize that you are using the equivalent of the n-word in promoting memes that tag people as anti-vax?" Rossio then stated that what Julie Benson was perpetuating stereotypes by using the term "anti-vax." The vaccination debate has virtually disappeared as social media users are lighting Rossio up for using the racial slur.
As of this writing, Terry Rossio's tweets are still up. The whole argument started when Julie Benson asked her followers to donate to UNICEF to provide polio vaccines to those in need. She then said that the donations should be made in the name of an "anti-vaxer," which is where Rossio took offense. After Disney's firing of James Gunn for twitter "jokes" that were a decade old, it will be interesting to see how the studio handles a racial slur made a hours ago. Disney has yet to make a statement in regard to the offending tweets. You can read the exchange below, thanks to Terry Rossio's Twitter account.
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). Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone a nigger and makes as little sense.— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) November 23, 2018
Brilliant! pic.twitter.com/O08JZWu5is— Julie Benson (@TheJulieBenson) November 23, 2018
Do you realize that you are using the equivalent of the 'n-word' in promoting memes that tag people as 'anti-vax?' Do you realize that the same collectivist stereotyping lies behind belittling any group with a label? Do you have no feelings for vaccine damaged kids and parents?— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) November 23, 2018
Anyone else remember when anti-vaxers were enslaved for hundreds of years? Freed but not treated as equals then fought for equal rights like desegregation and the right to vote and now deal with discrimination like being disproportionately sent to prison or killed by police? No? pic.twitter.com/wFcUYEA49P— Louis Morgan (@MasterMorgan317) November 24, 2018