After arguing about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Twitter, Ben Stiller apologized to Fox News’ senior meteorologist Janice Dean on Sunday after learning that Dean blames Cuomo for the death of her husband’s parents in a COVID-19-infested nursing home.
The beef started when Dean called out Stiller and other celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez and Henry Winkler, who are participating in a virtual fundraiser for Cuomo’s birthday. Instead of benefiting COVID-19 charities, the tickets, which sell for thousands of dollars, will directly benefit Cuomo’s personal political fundraising.
In their heated Twitter exchange, Stiller defended Cuomo, whose March directive has been heavily criticized for allowing over 6,000 COVID-positive patients to be admitted back into nursing homes where many were then exposed to the virus, some of whom died as a result — including Dean’s in-laws.
“Nothing wrong with supporting a politician. As you know the current president has been soliciting hundreds of millions to overturn the election, not for COVID relief. You wrote a book about spreading sunshine apparently.. You don’t like the Governor. I do. Don’t be divisive. Bye,” Stiller wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
“Nothing wrong with criticizing a politician who likes to profit off the deaths of New Yorkers. (He wrote a book too about ‘leadership’ during a pandemic) You’re right, I don’t like the governor because his policies help kill my husbands parents. Enjoy your fundraiser,” Dean replied, referencing Cuomo’s new book on his handling of the pandemic in New York, which is still ongoing.
The “Escape at Dannemora” director quickly changed his tune once he found out that Dean’s in-laws had paid the highest price for Cuomo’s directive.
“I’m sorry for your loss. I’m not into coming down on people. You called me out. We all are dealing with this and I believe we need to be less divisive. All the best,” Stiller wrote. He went on to say he had deleted his earlier tweet defending Cuomo, and later added “I apologize for being ignorant of your circumstance. I would not have replied to your tweet if I did. I Wish you and your family all the best in this very hard time.”
From there, the exchange got surprisingly cordial, and Dean accepted Stiller’s apology.
“Apology accepted,” wrote Dean. “I appreciate your reply and the kindness that came with it.”
Read what’s left of the exchange below.
Restaurants closing, kids out of school, families losing loved ones and livelihoods but @NYGovCuomo is going to celebrate his birthday with his celebrity friends and raise thousands of dollars for himself. Shame on @WhoopiGoldberg @RedHourBen @rosieperezbklyn @hwinkler4real pic.twitter.com/cvZszFcn4u
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 12, 2020
I apologize for being ignorant of your circumstance. I would not have replied to your tweet if I did. I Wish you and your family all the best in this very hard time.
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) December 13, 2020
I’m sorry for your loss. I’m not into coming down on people. You called me out. We all are dealing with this and I believe we need to be less divisive. All the best.
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) December 12, 2020