Mahershala Ali apologizes after the family of characters from Green Book & # 39; conviction & # 39; Harmful Lies & # 39;



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Relatives of pianist Dr. Donald W. Shirley (who is portrayed by Mahershala Ali in Green Paper) publicly denounced the fictional narrative of the film and received an apology from Ali in response. Two of these family members, Dr. Shirley's nephew Edwin Shirley III, as well as Dr. Shirley's brother Maurice Shirley, called the questionable description of their friendship with driver Tony "Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) during a interview with Shadow and Act.

"It was pretty shocking," Edwin said of his first time seeing the movie. He also described a plot point in which Shirley was removed from his family as "very painful" and "100 percent wrong."

In addition, Maurice said that he was "furious" with the representation of his brother's film, and called Green Paper a "symphony of lies," even pointing to a specific example in the film in which Shirley said he did not know of his brother's whereabouts.

"In this point [in 1962, when the events of the film supposedly take place]had three brothers alive with whom he always kept in touch, "said Maurice. One of the things Donald used to remind me in his later years was that he literally raised me … There was not a month when I did not have a phone conversation with Donald. "

Maurice also said that the friendship between Shirley and Vallelong, which is the core of the film, is not based on reality. When asked if the two were close, Maurice and his wife Patricia said "No, nothing," adding that it was "an employer-employee relationship." Edwin went on to say that Dr. Shirley never referred to Tony as a "friend" and stated that his association in real life was "the only kind of relationship that [Dr. Shirley] already had with any of the people with whom he worked. "

Maurice also said that his brother's temper would have prevented any such relationship.

"You asked what kind of relationship he had with Tony? He fired Tony!" Said Maurice. "Which is consistent with the many layoffs he's made with all his drivers over time … Tony would not open the door, he would not take sacks, he'd take his [chauffeur’s] They stopped when Donald got out of the car, and several times Donald found him with the lid and confronted him. When you hear that Tony has been with him for 18 months, I can assure you, no driver has lasted with my brother for 18 months. Anyone who knew my brother's temper and had some experience with any of his other drivers-the most was the one right here in Milwaukee, the Urban League, which lasted for at least two months. "

Shirley's family went on to say that Donald never wanted to make a film about his life, and that Nick Vallelonga (Tony's son and co-writer of the film) approached them about making a movie 30 years ago.

"I remember very, very clearly, 30 years ago, my uncle was approached by Nick Vallelonga, the son of Tony Vallelonga, about a film about his life, and Uncle Donald told me about it," Edwin said. .

Both Edwin and Maurice said they sincerely apologized to Ali after he learned of their complaints.

"I got a phone call from Mahershala Ali, a very respectful phone call from him personally," Edwin said. "He called me and my Uncle Maurice, in which he apologized profusely if there were any offenses."

According to Edwin, Ali said, "If I offended you, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I did the best I could with the material I had." I did not know there were close relatives I could have consulted with to add some nuance to the character. & # 39; "

It will be interesting to see if the controversy affects Green Paper Oscar hopes to move on.

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