'Pirates' Screenwriter Terry Rossio Sparks Controversy With N-Word Tweet

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Terry Rossio

The tweet in question equated using the racial slur with calling someone "anti-vax."

Screenwriter Terry Rossio on Friday was slammed after a tweet he posted equated using the N-word with calling someone "anti-vax."

"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—er and makes as little sense," he wrote, in reply to The 100 writer Julie Benson, who on Thursday had tweeted a post encouraging people to donate vaccines "and then send a card to an anti-vax relative saying you've provided lifesaving vaccines in their name." [Editor's note: Rossio used the full word in his tweet, but it has been censored here.]

Hundreds of Twitter users replied to the comment, with many calling out Rossio's comparison. Among them was writer Jeff Grubb, who wrote a string of tweets mocking Rossio, including: "God, this is such a good point. I remember how American founders and citizens enslaved vaccine skeptics for decades. And then, even after freeing them, the government enshrined laws to marginalize vaccine deniers and to deny them wealth and opportunity. That's just history." He added in a subsequent tweet, "Oh, and finally: eat shit, Terry."

Dictionary.com's official Twitter account also called out the screenwriter's tweet, writing, "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.'"

Rossio is known for writing the screenplays to films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Aladdin, Shrek and more. He is currently slated to pen Warner Bros.' Jonny Quest film, which Chris McKay (The Lego Batman) will direct.

Disney declined to comment. Requests for comment from Warner Bros. and Rossio's representation were not immediately returned.