Oscar-nominated screenwriter Terry Rossio made a lot of waves on Twitter over the last few days after drawing a comparison between the label “anti-vax” and the “n-word”.
What is Anti-Vax?
Anti-vax is a label used to refer to a group of people who do not believe in or support the use of any vaccinations in children or adults. Individuals labeled as anti-vaxxers often believe vaccines are riddled with chemicals that make people sick as opposed to protecting them from illnesses.
According to CBR, Rossio spelled out instead of censoring the “n-word” in his tweet he later deleted after receiving heavy criticism for not censoring the word.
“My heart goes out to all the parents of vaccine damaged children, who have to not only endure the sadness of their loss, but also the vitriol of ill-informed and insensitive people (such as those here). Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone [an N-word] and makes as little sense,” he penned in the deleted tweet.
Rossio deleted tweet was a reply to Julie Benson, another writer, who suggested her followers consider buying vaccines for children in need.
“I’m not saying you should buy it and then send a card to an anti-vax relative saying you’ve provided life-saving vaccinations in their name, but actually that’s exactly what I’m saying,” she said as she concluded her request.
Despite discussing a very controversial topic, Terry’s deleted tweet had nothing to do with being for or against vaccinations. He just wanted it to be known he felt “anti-vax” was a stereotype and a hateful label that shouldn’t be used to describe people.
Benson responded to Rossio saying she was more than happy to listen to his opinions and would love to seen scientific information proving them. She, however, took issue with his use of the uncensored “n-word” and told him never to tag her and use that word again.
Do you realize that you are using the equivalent of the 'n-word' in promoting memes that tag people as 'anti-vax?' Do you realize that the same collectivist stereotyping lies behind belittling any group with a label? Do you have no feelings for vaccine damaged kids and parents?— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) November 23, 2018
“Do you realize that you are using the equivalent of the ‘n-word’ in promoting memes that tag people as ‘anti-vax?’ Do you realize that the same collectivist stereotyping lies behind belittling any group with a label? Do you have no feelings for vaccine damaged kids and parents?” Rossio said in response to Benson during their back and forth exchange.
Even though Rossio deleted the offensive tweet, nothing is ever truly gone once it has been published on the internet. It didn’t take long before others chimed in with their thoughts regarding the screenwriter’s comparison of the label “anti-vax” and the “n-word.”
Dictionary.com argued the “n-word” is so “profoundly offensive” it doesn’t even begin to compare to the anti-vax label.
The Aladdin and Shrek screenwriter has since apologized – in a series of three tweets – for his use of the uncensored “n-word,” stating he realizes it was a mistake.
He, however, did not change his views on his original point that the label anti-vax should not be used to describe people.
(3 parts)— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) November 25, 2018
In a recent Twitter post, arguing against stereotyping and hate
speech, I referenced the 'n-word' (the actual word) as an example of what
not to do.
That was a mistake. I am sorry.
I now understand that the word has no place in any conversation, ever.
“That was a mistake. I am sorry. I now understand that the word has no place in any conversation, ever,” Rossio tweeted as he apologized.
He added: “That was insensitive and ignorant.”
“I continue to stand against hate speech and dehuhmanizing lables in any form,” he said as he concluded his series of apologetic tweets.
As the mistake was mine alone, this apology is also mine alone. A deeply— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) November 25, 2018
felt apology to all.
I continue to stand against hate speech and dehuhmanizing lables in