Ebert tweet causes uproar

After ‘Jackass’ star Ryan Dunn and a passenger died in a car accident early Monday morning, film critic Roger Ebert tweeted, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” The critic’s statement caused a slew of angry comments from friends and fans of the well-known star.

In a matter of hours, Ebert’s Facebook page was also taken offline. Although the page was back up on the web within an hour, Facebook said the issue was just an error and they were sorry “for the inconvenience.” If it was an error that made Ebert’s page go offline, it was quite a coincidence. If it wasn’t an error, it’s completely not OK.

Ebert is a film critic, not a news source. In this particular situation, his opinion on the matter is no better or worse than any of the other misinformed comments generated by Facebook and Twitter users every day. Bam Margera, also of “Jackass” fame and one of Dunn’s close friends, responded to Ebert’s comment with a flow of expletives, and pop culture blogger Perez Hilton called the comment “insensitive.”

Sure, it was insensitive, and Ebert himself said the tweet was cruel in an apology he wrote for his Chicago Sun-Times blog on Tuesday. Ebert added that it was too soon to make the comment, but he still stands by the statement about driving drunk.

Though toxicology reports will take between four and six weeks to complete, Dunn posted a photo of himself and friends at a bar just a few hours before the accident. Ebert’s comment was out of line, especially considering that it’s not confirmed that Dunn was drunk. However, it’s absolutely appalling that Facebook would take down his page for such a remark. Like every person using the web these days, Ebert has a right to blog, tweet or post his thoughts and opinions for the world to see.