In response to the sad news and the image Dunn posted to his Twitter account (which has since been taken down) showing him and two friends sitting around a table with beers at their side just three hours prior to the fatal car crash, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert took to his own Twitter account at 3PM yesterday to post the message: "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive."
As you can probably imagine, that hasn't exactly sat well with everyone, especially those who knew Dunn best.
Hit the jump to see how the Twittersphere responded to Ebert's comments.
Shortly after Ebert's message was posted, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton responded on his website: "We certainly agree that driving after drinking is wrong, we think there's no reason -- especially RIGHT NOW -- that anyone should be pointing fingers or poking fun at a truly tragic situation. Everyone makes mistake, and this is somebody's son. Too soon, Roger."
Later that day after readers began voicing their opinions on the comments section of Hilton's website, Ebert fired back with: "Perez Hilton's readers agree with me and not with Perez about my tweet on Ryan Dunn. He drank, he drove, 2 people died."
Then late last night, Dunn's 'Jackass' co-star Bam Margera chimed in on Twitter as well by saying: "I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of sh*t roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents. About a jackass drunk driving his is one, f*ck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat f*cking mouth!"
The latest update in this back-and-forth has come in form of an explanation and semi-apology from Ebert this morning on his blog:
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. I mean that sincerely. 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....
What did I mean by that [initial Tweet]? I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with "Jackass." I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word "jackass" in the same way in his tweet....
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?
Seeing that the police report on Dunn's death hasn't confirmed whether or not alcohol played a role in the crash, along with the fact that it hasn't even been 48 hours since the wreckage was found, it's easy to see why emotions are running high right now.
What do you think: too soon, or Ebert's got a point?
[via The Huffington Post]