Update: Roger Ebert has responded to Bam Margera’s tweets on his Chicago Sun-Times 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.” Read the full blog post here.
Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of MTV’s “Jackass,” died Monday in a car crash at the age of 34. Although his friends and co-stars, including Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O, made statements shortly after the news broke, Dunn’s longtime friend Bam Margera was noticeably silent.
Late Monday night, the “Viva La Bam” star broke his silence to address his friend’s death on Twitter. But the tweet wasn’t a straightforward tribute like some may have expected. Instead, Margera was defending his late friend against film critic Roger Ebert, who tweeted, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”
While the cause of accident is still being determined, many were quick to come to the conclusion that Dunn was under the influence of alcohol at the time of his death. Shortly before the crash, which also killed a passenger who is being identified by NBC Philadelphia, Dunn posted a picture of himself drinking at a bar. However, an autopsy has not been completed and DUI was not checked as a cause of the crash on the initial accident report.
Margera responded to Ebert’s comment in an irate, if not completely coherent tweet: “I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of [expletive] roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents. ... About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, [expletive] you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat [expletive] mouth!”
Ebert received immediate criticism about the tweet, with gossip blogger Perez Hilton declaring it “insensitive.” Ebert defended himself, later tweeting, “Perez Hilton’s readers agree with me and not with Perez about my tweet on Ryan Dunn. He drank, he drove, 2 people died.” Ebert’s Facebook page was taken down for violating the site’s "terms of conditions, but was later put back up.