Roger Ebert is trying to clarify a tweet he posted after the death of Ryan Dunn in which he wrote, "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive."
After Dunn's friend Bam Margera — among others — lashed out at Ebert, the film critic took to his blog on Tuesday to clarify that he wasn't directly accusing Dunn of drunk driving. Dunn and his passenger, Zachary Hartwell, died in a car crash in Pennsylvania early Monday, hours after Dunn tweeted a photo of them drinking in a bar.
"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," Ebert wrote.
He added, "I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death."
So what, exactly, did he mean by his initial tweet?
"I meant exactly what I wrote," he wrote. "I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with 'Jackass.' I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word 'jackass' in the same way in his tweet."
In his tweeted response to the initial tweet, Margera said he had "just lost my best friend."
"I have been crying hysterical[ly] for a full day and piece of s— roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents about a jackass drunk driving and [he] is one, f— you!" Margera wrote. "Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat f—ing mouth!"
Ebert's Facebook page also seemed to take a hit over the controversy. On Tuesday, the critic revealed that his Facebook page had been shut down, supposedly due to complaints from a pair of cranks
"Facebook has removed my page in response, apparently, to malicious complaints from one or two jerks," Ebert wrote on his Twitter account.
Ebert's page was reinstated shortly thereafter.