Roger Ebert Defends, Clarifies Ryan Dunn Comment

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Roger Ebert set off a firestorm of controversy yesterday with a single Tweet about Ryan Dunn, the Jackass star who perished in a car accident early Monday.

"Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive." That's all Ebert wrote, but the timing and word choice upset many, including Dunn's best friend Bam Margera.

Ebert's Facebook page has since been disabled and the film critic has been widely criticized by many on Twitter. In a new blog post, he explains the Tweet:

Roger Ebert Pic
RIP Ryan Dunn

"To begin with, I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn's family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell, who also died in the crash," Ebert writes.

"I mean that sincerely. It is tragic to lose a loved one. I regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel."

"It was intended as true. I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. I was referring to his association with Jackass. I thought that was clear."

"Note that Bam Margera uses the word 'jackass' in the same way in his tweet."

Ebert goes on to further explain the context of what he said:

"I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly," he says, citing what prompted the comment.

"I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death. What I knew before posting my tweet was that not long before his death, he posted a photo on Tumbler showing himself drinking with two friends."

"I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated - or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing."

"That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?"

Ebert also references an interview in which Bam Margera's mother, April, said Dunn was a fast driver and she told him to slow down "every day" following a bad accident he was involved in more than a decade ago.

"In another story, it was indicated that DUI was involved in the earlier crash," Ebert says, ending his blog by saying simply that "[April Margera] was being Ryan's friend. Friends don't let friends drink and drive."

In light of this explanation, what do you think of Ebert's Tweet?



I am so sorry for the death of two men and my sympathies go out to their families. Nothing will ever bring them back.I am sorry for their friends.May they both rest in peace.


ion get this shit ppl do make mistakes and drink and drive but if it was ur brother or dad on the passenger side im pretty sure u wud be mad as hell at ryan me personally i think his death is traggic but he did it to himself and its good to have sympathy for the fam. and all but just cause he a celebrity dont mean he aint do shit wrong ....i wonder how ppl would react if it was a regular person would we have this much compassion and love...ion think so


It does not matter what the cause of the persons death was , the fact is they have paid the ultimate price for there mistakes and its time for people to get a life and leave the friends and family of these 2 men alone to mourn the loss of a loved one. It's amazing how far some people will go for publicity. Karma works in mysterious ways. people should remember that. He has paid his dues for his mistake now shut up and leave them to rest in peace. my prayers are with Ryan's family and friends . Especially Bam i know you must feel lost the past couple of days. Best wishes to you in this time of grief. Don't pay any attention to these low life's, you know who Ryan really was and that's all that matters.


Maybe theres a reason GOD gave you cancer maybe he wanted you to shut up!!! The comment about RYAN DUNN was hurtful to all his family and to all of his JACKASS costars but especaily to BAM MAGERA his best friend so SHUT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I understand what he was saying but seriously...he should have at least waited a few more days, weeks even before saying anything. It's not his place to say things like that. He's a film critic not a human being critic, stick to what you know dude and keep your two cents to yourself. I knew he was drunk from when I first heard the news but I grew up watching Jackass, Wild boys, and Viva la Bam so regardless of the way he went out, I will always remember the days from the shows. Thank GOD no one else was involved in the crash but Rest In PEACE to both these men...


...he rost face!


I feel sorry for his family and loved ones who most likely feared this outcome as he performed his many dangerous stunts over the years. He died as he lived - without regard for his life or his passenger's life. Getting on Roger's case does not change the fact that he should not have been driving drunk and his friends might have tried to stop him from doing so.


oh come on jenn! he was deff drunk you can tell in the pic he posted! he looked way messed up and wtf... he had no right driving that fast regardless if he was drunk or not! he lucky it was just him and someone stupid enough to get in a car with him instead of killing some innocent family just trying to get home! it maybe a sad ending to 2 short lives but he brought it on himself for acting stupid!


hell ayh hes got a point! his friends should NOT have let him drive! he had enought damn for a cab! what if he had of hit another car with a family in it? and killed all of them? would u all still feel the sameway about Rogers tweet? HE HAS A VALID REASON and i support his tweet 110 percent! celebs get away with way to much shit!


As of yet nobody knows for sure that Ryan was drunk. A picture posted earlier in the night does not prove that the man was intoxicated when he crashed. If he was, then yes it was stupid but the fact of the matter is that two young men are dead and Ebert"s comments although true were made only hours after such a tragic accident. There are millions of people mourning right now and the statement that he made was just WAY TOO SOON. My heart and prays go out to his family and friends.

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