Roger Ebert Finds Support In The Twitterverse

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s untimely death early yesterday morning. The car crash that took his life also took the life of his friend and Jackass prod...
Roger Ebert Finds Support In The Twitterverse
Written by Josh Wolford
  • By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s untimely death early yesterday morning. The car crash that took his life also took the life of his friend and Jackass producer Zachary Hartwell. It is confirmed that high speeds played a part in the crash and it has been widely speculated that so did alcohol, as many have given reports that Dunn was, in fact, drinking before the crash.

    And you’ve probably heard about the tweet heard round the world, as Roger Ebert took to the site to voice his opinion on the tragedy. After saying RIP Ryan Dunn in one tweet, he sounded off by saying “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”

    The internet has exploded over this comment, with a large number of people labeling the comments as rude, insensitive, untimely and a combination of the three. It won’t take a thorough search to find someone calling Ebert a dick, asshole, or a jerk on Twitter, blog comments or Facebook. Jackass alum and Dunn’s close friend Bam Margera responded to Ebert’s comments with the following tweets –

    I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents 15 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® · powered by @socialditto

    About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, fuck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat fucking mouth! 15 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® · powered by @socialditto

    Bam’s anger is completely understandable. I mean, Dunn was his close friend. But the outrage from John Q. Tweetreader? You would think that Ebert announced that he had murdered Dakota Fanning or something.

    Apparently, this outrage prompted some users on Facebook to complain about Ebert’s page. The page contained a post by Ebert about his controversial tweet. Facebook suspended his page earlier today for about an hour.

    Facebook has said that the “page was removed in error” and that they “apologize for the inconvenience.”

    Of course there is a bigger issue than Ebert’s page been down for a little under an hour. C’mon Facebook. Is it really that easy to have your page taken down by trolls concerned online citizens? Do we have to live in an online world where Ebert’s comments can be deemed too offensive to appear on Facebook? Yikes, the implications.

    As one Twitter user puts it –

    Interesting thing about the Roger Ebert debacle: FB can seize your page if your brand pisses people off badly enough. 4 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

    Although much of the common wisdom in the media is that Roger Ebert is a horribly callous person who said a super-hurtful thing and it a grade-a meanie, some people on Twitter have come to his defense. There is definitely a movement in the “Roger is Right” camp – people who feel, for whatever reason, that he needs not be chastised for his comments. Here are some good points being made, starting with TMZ’s Harvey Levin –

    Also Roger Ebert … if he didn’t raise the issue for a month, would people really talk about it? Maybe too soon or not, but he has a point 41 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

    Roger Ebert suddenly hated as he calls Ryan Dunn a jackass for driving drunk and killing self and friend 3 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

    Roger Ebert is flawless + I agree with him. If you don’t want to crash and die then don’t drive drunk 110 mph on a highway. #duh 29 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto


    It’s odd that many of the people who think Roger Ebert was insensitive and hateful are now being insensitive and hateful towards him. 5 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

    Perez Hilton lecturing Roger Ebert on sensitivity is like Elmer Fudd giving tips to Yosemite Sam on shooting critters. 7 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

    Don’t you dare say irreverent things about celebrities on Twitter, Roger Ebert. That’s the job of…everyone else on Twitter! 4 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

    Seriously?!?! People are defending a jackass speeding drunk driver that killed his passenger and are mad at Roger Ebert?? #epicfail 44 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

    Ppl are calling Roger Ebert a fucking asshole for his Tweet yesterday, while they make fun of the fact he lost his jaw. cuz of cancer #SMFH 33 minutes ago via Power Twitter · powered by @socialditto

    Just a little while ago, Ebert tweeted a link to his new blog post, entitled “Friends don’t let friends drink and drive.” In the post, he offers his sympathy to Ryan Dunn’s family. He doesn’t back down from his position however –

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

    I don’t know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. 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?

    But man is the fake outrage machine a-spinnin still. Sure, two men are dead and it is tragic. The unnecessary loss of any life is tragic. But to jump all over a guy for pointing out that drunk driving takes lives seems a little disingenuous. Was it the most sensitive way to do it? Probably not? But at its core, was it wrong? I don’t think so.

    It is important to point out that nobody has 100% proof that Dunn was drinking before the crash. Most evidence suggests it however. And it makes me wonder – If a non-famous drunk driver had lost control of his car and killed Ryan Dunn, do you think we would see the same outpouring of support for his/her lost life on Twitter?

    Add your condolences to the Ryan Dunn page on

    [Lead Image Courtesy]

    Get the WebProNews newsletter delivered to your inbox

    Get the free daily newsletter read by decision makers

    Advertise with Us

    Ready to get started?

    Get our media kit