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Roger Ebert Backtracks On Ryan Dunn Tweets!

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Roger Ebert caused a bit of controversy yesterday when he scolded deceased Jackass star Ryan Dunn yesterday via Twitter for allegedly being drunk during the crash that took his life, as well as Zachary Hartwell's, and now, the movie critic has taken to his blog to clarify and somewhat apologize for his insensitivity!

He writes:

"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. I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death. 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?"

We certainly understand where Ebert is coming from, and of course, don't support or condone anyone's actions when they are intoxicated and get behind the wheel of a car.

That being said, this is a sad, HOriffic situation all around, and we also don't think it's anyone's business to be pointing the finger of blame right now, especially when so many are devastated with grief.

Everyone knows mistakes were made, and unfortunately, it seems as though Dunn and his friend are paying the ultimate price for his. No need to point out the obvious, just let his family and loved ones mourn and try to make sense out of such a terrible tragedy.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you affected right now, and may Ryan and Zachary R.I.P.

[Image via WENN.]

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45 comments to “Roger Ebert Backtracks On Ryan Dunn Tweets!”



  1. 1

    I don't think Ebert was out of line, and has no need to apologize. It must be a real piss off to fight so hard for your life (against cancer) and then see someone like Dunn just throw his away.



  2. 2

    It wasn't insensitive at all, what he said is true. Someone else is dead because Ryan chose to drive drunk & chose to drive at an excessive speed. Ryan's death does not excuse what he did, nor does the fact that he's someones son. Had someone else been driving the car and caused the accident or had someone who was drunk hit Ryan's car and caused his death, you can bet Bam and all those other idiots would be screaming things much worse than what Rodger said. It's exactly the right time to be pointing fingers and placing the blame where it deserves to be placed. You do that as soon as an event like this happens, not weeks or months after, when people have forgotten about it. Maybe it's harsh, but this could possibly serve as a wake up call to lots of people, including most of the Jackass bunch who drink and drive on a regular basis. Those of you who don't agree with this have obviously not had a drunk driver kill someone close to you.



  3. 3

    Ebert has apparently never had one of those nights. I can't believe how many stupid choices I made under the influence of alcohol. I feel lucky to come out unscathed. I feel more comfortable blaming the sober person who didn't stop him or take the keys away. There MUST have been a least one person who knew he shouldn't drive.



  4. 4

    Ebert was out of line and seemed to take glee in his comments. If drinking played a role in the crash, the punishment did not fit the crime and those two men who apparently are kind,caring,working, good guys did not deserve to die a violent death for that mistake. I know many who have made stupid mistakes with drinking and they and their family didn't deserve the punishment and pain like that. Ebert is smug and if you made a comment like that about a racecar driver dying while driving too fast or if his fat wife had a heart attack and you made a fat joke about getting what you deserve you'd be crucified. I mean hollywood supports cop killers and child raping directors but lets bash a guy who just died for all his family and friends to hear. ebert is not some truth teller. No he's just another donkey's behind. Ebert has always been mean spirited, Ebert is famous for doing nothing. If Ebert wants to be a spokesman against drinking and driving great, he should have done it before this accident and he shouldn't be using someone else's tragedy as his soapbox. Talk about the issue but leave these people out of your insensitive comments.



  5. 5

    his comment was insensitive, it was true but insensitive. "Friends don't let jackasses drink & drive" really? was he trying to win a comedic award or something, why did he throw in the pun, which was obviously intended. He could have just been straightforward, avoid the jokes, I wouldn't want someone pulling jokes if my loved one died, but yes, no one should drink & drive and put people in danger, it's stupid, but I wouldn't go the Ebert route & make fun of the death



  6. 6

    while I don't think Ebert was outta line, he needs to stop Tweeting because he gets in trouble with that. *LOL*



  7. 7

    Anyone who intentionally uses an automobile as a lethal weapon (after drinking) and is successful at taking someone ELSE's life, deserves the criticism. And it was too easy to mention the word JACKASS. It was my first thought. And for those who are insulting Ebert's appearance, you should be ashamed. He is fighting cancer. One of Dunn's victims could have easily been more maimed. Dunn was unrecognizable from the fire. You Aholes gonna tease about that???



  8. 8

    Ebert was right. He drove while impaired and killed himself and his friend. What people don't talk about is that this was not the first time this idiot has gotten behind the wheel while drunk. Most people who get a DUI admit to driving drunk dozens of times before they are caught. I get enraged when these azzholes gamble with my and other people on the road lives.

    No sympathy for some douche who might have taken out a family. If he wasn't a famous idiot there wouldn't be so much out pouring of sympathy. He was a manslaughter case waiting to happen.



  9. 9

    Re: ickynicky – I couldn't have said it better myself.



  10. 10

    yes, drinking & driving kills people, also mean-spirited, bully-like comments kill people as well… just saying, at the loads of comment trying to guilt trip people. I hope the deceaseds' family members are strong through this tragedy, avoid reading comments, and if there was a sober friend who could have stopped them, lesson learned, beat yourself numb if you want to but don't kill yourself, stay strong and carry the message of drunk driving being dangerous (apparently it's okay when Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore do it, but not Ryan)



  11. 11

    Ebert was absolutely correct. If anything he was a little early. I sais exactly the same thing to my wife when I first read the story about the crash. "normal" people DO NOT consume "at least" 6 drinks and then get behind the wheel. I'm sorry the guy is dead, but he did it to himself. The innocent murder victim( Zack) is the loser in this whole deal. If this fool had survived he should, and likely would have been convicted of vehicular homocide.



  12. 12

    He didn't backtrack at all, Fuckstick. He apologized if his comments seemed harsh, but he stand sby them. Think about this: if a drunk driver had hit & killed Ryan Dunn & friend, would people be screaming at Ebert then? Dunn was a fucking idiot and he should not be given 'celebrity justice' mollycoddling — even in death. He could just as easily killed a family coming home from their vacation.



  13. 13

    Re: rosebud99 – You know….Ebert smoked and it was a contributing cause to some of his cancers. He is a hypocrite. He himself knowingly put his own life as well as the lives of others in danger from second hand smoke, yet continued, intentionally to do it. You are going to feel sorry for a man who contributed to his owm illness, and then bash someone who no-one knows yet if he was drunk driving? It's based on assumptions. If he was drunk he paid the ultimate price, but right now, the only people being hurt by these nasty comments are Ryan's family and friends. Why should they be punished for Ryan's mistake? That's the entire point.



  14. 14

    Let's see Gilbert Godfried get's fired for a tweet like that, what's the difference? He survived cancer?



  15. 15

    Re: just.sayin – Thank you - I did not know he smoked.



  16. 16

    Ebert is a recovering alcoholic, he has said this publicly many, many times. I believe he's more sensitive to the dangerous effects of alcohol and maybe I am too from growing up around it. However, his thoughts were the same as mine. Sure, it's sad that two people died as a result, but as an adult you should know better than driving yourself anywhere when you have the intention of getting drunk. Poorly timed word vomit though. What if Ryan Dunn lived but hit a car with children who then died? What would everyone say then?



  17. 17

    I am so sick of people using kid gloves when it comes to drunk driving… Yes, it is pointing out the obvious, but clearly people, including myself, are SICK of innocent lives being taken from idiots who drink and drive. It is infuriating.. I'm angry for his family, for his friend, and for all of the people left behind in this. Drunk driving is out of control, and I think it's great that someone in the public eye is willing to stand up and say how idiotic it really is…



  18. 18

    Ebert was right and there's no need to appologise. Ryan Dunn may have been young and loved, but he was an asshole for drinking and driving AND killing his passenger. ANYONE who thinks he's out of line should ask themselves if they'd still think so if it had been THEM or someone they loved as a passenger to a drunk driver, who ends up dead. There is NO mercy for those who drive while drunk and this is the example of just that. Ryan Dunn had enough money to booze, then he certainly had enough to call a cab. As goes for his "friends" who were drinking with him that night for not taking the keyes away from him. It's on their hands as well. My hearts goes out for those who loved him, but this was his own fault, shame on him and his friends.



  19. 19

    You know death is always sad, but I agree with what he said. Ryan Dunn shouldn't have made the poor decision to drink & drive that night, & because he did he not only lost his own life, but took another person's life as well. It is a horrible situation, & I do feel for the families & friends of these two, really, but this all could have been avoided by making a better decision. I don't think it is wrong to acknowledge that at all, it is the truth. It was his fault, & people should take from this incident that these things can happen. Nobody is invincible, & if you wanna do something as stupid as drink & drive, as cliche as it may be, then it may mean your life.



  20. 20

    I loved Ebert's tweet about how most of the comments here support Ebert and not Perez. Drunk driving is too important to lionize idiotic celebs who do it.



  21. 21

    He had NO idea that he was killed cuz of drinking and driving. And how about a RIP BEFORE you rip into him. What a fucking lunatic this freak is. And now today he is apologizing.. Why is that? Cuz he was 10000 percent wrong. And he is catching heat from every angle. Think before you type ole goat.



  22. 22

    I don't know all the details, but if Ryan was drunk, it was Zach's decision to get in the car with a drunk driver. Bad decisions were made by both and unfortunately it cost them the ultimate price. I hope they R.I.P. and thoughts go out to all the familes and friends.



  23. 23

    He's apologized, good for him. Definitely appropriate. (More appropriate than Tracy Morgan apologizing).

    Every single one of you hypocrites has either driven drunk yourself or has close friends/family who has. Many of you will do it again (although you're not THAT drunk, no, you're more responsible…)

    Every insensitive thing said is insensitive BECAUSE it's true, but that doesn't mean you should run your fucking mouth about someone who just died. It's really not hard to say what you think without coming across as an asshole; Ebert's statement above is a perfect example and is what he should have said in the first place. He still says what he wants, but he also softens the blow because he knows emotions are raw.

    It's incorrect to say "you would feel this way if someone you knew…" Sorry, some of us try to be objective no matter how involved we are in an issue. In general, having a harsh, insensitive opinion only because it hits close to home, means you're biased and probably, objectively, wrong.

    Sensitive sometimes just means keeping your mouth shut. But more often it just means wording things so as to not sound confrontational and like the dickhead we all actually are inside. Putting on a courteous public face is something anyone can and should do, and anyone who doesn't bother to do so, particularly in emotionally raw situations, deserves to get their ass kicked (and at some point, almost certainly will).



  24. 24

    Re: lexiegrey2 – How is writing a 140 character tweet having "glee" in his comment? For one thing, a racecar driver is not drunk and is a trained professional who also is in a controlled situation. He had every right to say what he said because Dunn's ignorance could have killed someone other than the friend and himself. If you haven't noticed, people do not respond to other people preaching issues until something happens that shows as an example of what not to do. If I hear someone say something, it is more effective if I see proof of what can happen. It was an insensitive comment but a true one at that because the facts are, he could have killed someone like you or me.



  25. 25

    Too bad Ryan wasn't partying with Nick Hogan instead.



  26. 26

    Re: teeheesniffy – I absolutely agree with you.



  27. 27

    You need to shut the f*** up Roger Ebert. All people make mistakes

    That dudes got a family, and friends who are in mourning. Not the place and time



  28. 28

    Re: ickynicky – I am quite sure the passenger in Dunns car was drinking as well. He wasn't forced to ride with Dunn so if Dunn is wrong then so is his passenger.

  29. arp17 says – reply to this


    29

    Ebert is just a fucking asshole. He did the same shit. Remember not everyone is perfect. I mean sure, Dunn was drinking before his accident but he did not choose to die. He just should have been more careful. Either way, it is not good to say it is good that he died because he was a person, he has family and people that love him.



  30. 30

    Police release Ryan Dunn's blood alcohol level. "Extra Crispy".



  31. 31

    He wasn't out of line at all…bam and his moron fans are just immature and rude.

    RYAN DUNN KILLED HIMSELF AND HIS FRIEND> that is manslaughter at least, right?

    drinking and driving is a serious issue, it is dangerous, it kills innocent people.

    Ebert is right, what if they had hit a family in another car? would you all have your heads up your asses still in denial of the fact that he was excessively speeding whilst drunk?

    I bet the friend who died has family who agree with Ebert, and blame Dunn for their son's death. I have to say though, that anyone who is stupid enough to get in the car with their drunk friend behind the wheel is just as much at fault. And then on top of it, to allow them to speed excessively…well, jackass is the right word, indeed.

    Bam can throw his little wussy baby hissy fits because he doesnt like to hear the truth…but eventually he will have to grow a pair and admit that drinking and driving has killed his friend and another person…and that Dunn was wrong, stupid, and DUI is serious shit.

    While he's at it, Bam should head to rehab…he's got some issues with substance abuse.



  32. 32

    Soo…It was reported to say that Ryan's autopsy report did not show any evidence of alcohol being the factor in his death as of yet so Roger should have kept his old mouth shut because 3 shots and 3 beers may have someone buzzed but any death is a condolence not to speak of drunk driving because i am sure most of society knows what can happen when you drink and drive, sadly this is one of the many cases that results in that. Im sure he has friends or family or at least knows someone who has drank and drove, so why does he have to rant and complain about Ryan? Sorry he just acts upon wanting attention…i dont even know who this old man is but he has no right to talk about the situation until they have EVIDENT proof that alcohol was indeed a factor…so who's the jackass now? Roger obviously..



  33. 33

    why should anyone have sympathy for dead people who basically committed suicide? you know when you are drunk that you shouldnt be driving…and saying that 'who hasn't had some drinks and driven' is NOT a legitimate or adequate excuse…that is absurd and illogical…

    just because 'everyone' does it, doesnt make it a) something to be condoned b) legal c) something to be pitied in any fashion.

    People should be harshly judged and criticized for making such stupid decisions…it is a huge mistake to make. Imagine how bad you would feel if you drove drunk and killed someone? You would be charged with murder, your license taken away, and you would have to live with the fact that you took away someone's parent, sibling, child etc. How horrible.

    This is SERIOUS. It is not a politically correct issue to point that out…dead people do not have feelings…and people who CHOOSE DEATH as these two morons clearly did, deserve to be held accountable for it.



  34. 34

    oh yes and DARWIN AWARDS. Survival of the fittest…did these two geniuses manage to breed before they offed themselves? hopefully not…morons.
    for those of you who believe in evolution, and survival of the fittest, you should feel that way right? natural selection and so on….

    smart people survive, smart people don't drink and drive. =D



  35. 35

    If your family member were killed by Dunn you would say the same things….if not much worse.



  36. 36

    It amazes me that people are saying that it's OK to kill your passenger in a car crash as long as you were sober while you did it.



  37. 37

    and if it is proven that he was sober and just excessively speeding out of sheer sober stupidity…well then he deserves even more harsh criticism coming his way.

    excessive speeding and racing of cars on city streets and not some kind of race track/closed circuit (wherever it is legal to do that shit) is just as bad, if not worse, than drunk driving…

    drunk driving…well, you're inebriated when you make the bad decision to drive, and or speed….but to excessively speed and drive dangerously while having full mental functioning and just making the conscious decision to be reckless …. you deserve what you get even more so…that's not a mistake anymore, that's a clear decision and choice. MORONS.



  38. 38

    Ohhh look at em?….the pompous @ss is even smiling about that tweet.



  39. 39

    Re: shaf7407 – Just so you know on average..2 beers can get you over the legal limit, which means he was over the legal limit and still drunk while driving. The law isn't "oh, well I can walk so I am ok to drive". You and everyone else that is saying he didn't drink alot and are trying to make it ok that he still had alcohol and drank are probably the same people that have drove while drunk before. Obviously his speed was the main factor in this situation..which means he is still a jackass for driving that recklessly. "alcohol was probably not a factor"..uhh if he had 3 beers and 3 shots then he had some alcohol in his system and still was DRINKING and still was breaking the law. They don't criticize people for drinking and driving for nothing.



  40. 40

    The time to comment ia not when everyone has forgotten it is now when it is raw…the simple fact is an innocent man would not be dead had he not made to choice to get into a car with a friend who was drinking and known to drive fast & the driver would also not killed himself & his friend had he not already established a history of foolish & careless stunts & tweeted himself hours before appearing very intoxicated…I am very sure indeed his family are suffering and angry too because if someone would have cared to stop him from driving he would be alive today…it is sad Friends don't let friends drink & drive!!!



  41. 41

    You Ebert supporters are supporting his hypocitical attitude. This shit is coming from a man who #1 is an admitted alchoholic, who cannot say he never drove drunk, and #2 a smoker who contibuted to his own cancer, and with both conditions, put others lives at risk, yet he is applauded for his asshole comments? A drunk driver killed my sister's best friend. She was thrown into the heavy foliage in front of her parents home and not found for days. I don't approve of driving even after 1 drink. Nothing has been shown to prove Ryan was drunk driving. Excessive speed yes, and dumb yes. Everything has been shown that Ebert was a drunk and a smoker who disregarded his own health and the health and safety of others by his drinking and smoking. Yet you all are loving his drunken past and the self indulgent behavior that led to his cancer. Seriously….. stop throwing your judgements when all the facts are not known, and especially supporting someone who has been the ultimate offender. The bottom line here is this - all the negative, nasty comments are only hurting the family and friends of Ryan, and none of them did anything to deserve to be hurt. The point is don't hurt the innocent - they did not do anything wrong and do not deserve to be punished for his alleged mistakes.



  42. 42

    Um, no need to point out the obvious? This stuff NEEDS to be pointed out some of the people whom look up to these Jackass guys learn that it isn't okay to be acting like this. A lot of their fans are of the age where they do stupid stuff like this, and this is the perfect time to set an example of what not to do.



  43. 43

    Re: rosebud99 – Agree.



  44. 44

    Hey ebert, NOBODY needs your old wrinkled ass being a critic on someones death. Keep your thoughts about some one that YOU DONT KNOW to your self you old hag. When you pass (which hopefully is soon) I really hope you make it to heaven so ryan dunn can kick your ass. "Jackass".



  45. 45

    FACT: It is wrong to drink and drive.
    However, I think Ebert should apologise at least for his poor timing with regards to his comments.