'Green Book' Screenwriter Won't Attend Critics' Choice Awards Amid Fallout From Anti-Muslim Tweet (Exclusive)

Nick Vallelonga has been under fire — and apologized — for a 2015 tweet that is critical of Muslims.
Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Nick Vallelonga at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6

Nick Vallelonga, one of Oscar hopeful Green Book's screenwriters and producers, will not attend Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Awards, or have much of a presence at all on the awards circuit for the rest of this season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Vallelonga, 59, whose father, Tony Lip, is portrayed by Viggo Mortensen in the film (opposite Mahershala Ali's Don Shirley), won a Golden Globe on Sunday night when the film was awarded best screenplay. The film also picked up a Globe for best picture (musical or comedy), and Ali won the supporting actor Globe.

However, Vallelonga has been under fire since Wednesday, following the resurfacing of a 2015 tweet in which he addressed a tweet to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about a debunked conspiracy theory: "100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news."

Vallelonga subsequently deleted the tweet — and his Twitter account — before issuing a statement in which he said: "I want to apologize. I spent my life trying to bring this story of overcoming differences and finding common ground to the screen, and I am incredibly sorry to everyone associated with Green Book. I especially deeply apologize to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused. I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from Dr. Shirley's friendship and I promise this lesson is not lost on me. Green Book is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better."

Participant Media, which produced Green Book, released a statement of its own: "We find Mr. Vallelonga's Twitter post offensive, dangerous and antithetical to Participant Media's values. We reject it in no uncertain terms."

Green Book is nominated for seven Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday — best picture (Vallelonga, Farrelly, Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler and Brian Currie), best director (Farrelly), best actor (Mortensen), best supporting actor (Ali), best screenplay (Vallelonga, Currie and Farrelly), best score (Kris Bowers) and best actor in a comedy (Mortensen).

Oscar nomination voting began on Jan. 7 and runs through Jan. 14.