Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” producer Jack Morrissey has now issued a public apology for writing a grotesque tweet over the weekend wishing the Covington Catholic schoolboys would be thrown “into the woodchipper.”
“#MAGAkids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper,” Morrissey tweeted over the weekend alongside a photo from the movie “Fargo” featuring a body being shoved into the woodchipper.
Though the tweet has since been deleted, the internet never forgets. “Don’t tell me this is THEE Jack Morrissey. ‘Famed’ Disney producer Morrissey? Dear Lord…” former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Twitter in response to the grotesque tweet.
On Monday, after significant mounting backlash, Morrissey issued a public apology for sending the tweet, asserting he meant it as a joke and wished no violence upon the kids. Morrissey told TheWrap:
It was something that I did not give any thought to. It was just a fast, profoundly stupid tweet. … I would throw my phone into the ocean before doing that again.
Yesterday I tweeted an image based on FARGO that was meant to be satirical — as always — but I see now that it was in bad taste I offended many people — My sincerest apologies. I would never sincerely suggest violence against others, especially kids. Lesson learned.
I have no issue whatsoever with taking responsibility, but also completely apologizing that I clearly intended it to be seen as satire. That was clearly not recorded that way by many who saw it.
TheWrap asked Morrissey if he had changed his mind about the incident in the wake of recent evidence showing that the Covington Catholic boys did not harass a Native American protester at the March for Life last week, but were themselves harassed by other activists.
“I have seen tweets from both sides feeling disappointed that the mainstream media went his way or that way. But I haven’t had the headspace to take the time to watch all the videos,” he said.
Disney has issued no comment on the matter. The incident comes several months after the studio fired “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn for past tweets in which he joked about pedophilia. “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place” was just one of many shocking examples. Despite outspoken support for Gunn from fans and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast signing an open letter in support of the director, Disney ultimately reaffirmed its decision to fire Gunn.
Morrissey is not the only media figure to “jokingly” wish violence upon a group of minors without any hard evidence of wrongdoing. CNN contributor Reza Aslan suggested he’d like to punch at least one of the boys in the face. “Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” Aslan tweeted.
Comedian Sarah Beattie, a contributor to “Saturday Night Live,” went as far as to offer free blowjobs to anyone that would punch a Covington boy. “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face,” she said in the now-deleted tweet.
The “MAGA kid” has since been identified as high school junior Nick Sandmann, who said in a lengthy statement on Sunday that the viral video was completely taken out of context, a statement which video evidence supports.
“At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants,” said Sandmann. “I did not witness or hear any students chant ‘build that wall’ or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.”
“After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera,” the statement continued. “The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.”
“I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.”