Aladdin, Shrek Writer Terry Rossio Compares Using 'Anti-Vax' to N-Word

In a post to his Twitter account, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Terry Rossio compared peoples use of the term "anti-vax" to the N-word. Anti-vax is a reference to people who do not support the use of vaccines in children because they believe it makes children ill.

Rossio, who has written animated movies like Shrek and Alladin, as well as live-action films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, wrote out the complete N-word in his tweet. The post read, "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."

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The post was in response to a tweet by writer Julie Benson (The 100Batgirl and the Birds of Prey), who was telling her followers that they could buy vaccines through organizations like UNICEF for kids in need. She ended her tweet with, "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."

In a further Twitter exchange, Benson objected to Rossio's use of the N-word in his tweet and added that the scientific research showed his beliefs about vaccinations are incorrect. However, Rossio responded again with his objection to the term anti-vax, tweeting, "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?"

Yet, Rossio's generalization about labels promoting stereotypes and his comparison of anti-vax to the N-word didn't ring true for many Twitter users. Perhaps the most succinct response to Rossio's Twitter outburst came from Dictionary.com, which tweeted, "The n-word is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed. The same cannot be said for the term 'anti-vax.'"

Rossio has not responded to the backlash or deleted his tweets.

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