Roger Ebert is not apologizing for the message behind the controversial tweet he wrote Monday after reading about the death of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn: “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” But he did offer a further explanation for it on his Chicago Sun Times blog Tuesday, after coming under fire from Dunn’s friend, Bam Margera, and fans of the late star.
“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,” Ebert wrote. “I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true.”
Ebert goes on to rehash the details emerging from the car accident that killed Dunn, who posted a picture of himself at a bar online before the crash. He explains that he read reports that Dunn had been drinking before the accident and that DUI was indicated in an earlier car crash the MTV personality was involved in.
“I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly,” he wrote.
Still, Ebert is not backing down from his original position. “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,” he wrote. “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’s Facebook page was “removed in error” Tuesday, he speculates because it was flagged by “Jackass” fans. The page has since been restored.