Just days after his film “Green Book” won three Golden Globes, including the award for best picture (comedy or musical), Rhode Island native and onetime Massachusetts resident Peter Farrelly is on the defensive.
The Cut dug up a pair of 1998 articles that concerned Farrelly’s propensity to expose his genitals as a joke, including to actress Cameron Diaz the first time he ever met her.
A 1998 Newsweek feature on Farrelly and his brother, Bobby, with whom he has directed the majority of his films, discusses Peter whipping out his genitals in front of numerous people, including Diaz, who starred in the brothers’ smash hit “There’s Something About Mary.”
“The Farrelly Brothers have something they want to show you — and it isn’t their new movie,” the piece begins. “In fact, it’s something you’d probably rather not see at all. Something of Peter’s. Something anatomical in nature.”
The article goes on to describe how Bobby would play the straight man in their genital exposure gag, concocting a reason for someone to look at Peter’s crotch area, be it a new watchband or “a mysterious blotch on Peter’s torso.” Diaz is also quoted in the piece as saying, “When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you’ve got to recognize the creative genius.”
The Cut also resurfaced a 1998 Observer article by Nicole Barker in which Farrelly carefully explained the idea behind the “joke” he said he had pulled “easily 500 times,” including the first time he met Diaz.
“So you risked losing a big star by showing her your penis before she was on board?” Barker wrote. “Peter smiles at my foolishness. ‘Of course! That’s what got her in.’
“He stops smiling for a moment,” the piece continued. “‘It’s a joke,’ he explains patiently. ‘It’s not like I make a habit of just whipping it out and saying, ‘Hey! Look! My [penis]!” We do a joke where, it’s like, Bob says, ‘Pete’s been really crazy, he went out and spent $500 on a belt buckle.’ I go, ‘Bob, it’s an investment, it’s not a big deal.’ He says, ‘You’re stupid! $500 on a belt buckle!’ I say it’s not stupid . . . Finally she says, ‘Let me see it.’ And I lift my shirt and have it . . .’ — he grins — ‘hanging over.’ ”
In a statement to Boston.com, Peter Farrelly apologized for his past behavior.
“True,” he said. “I was an idiot. I did this decades ago and I thought I was being funny and the truth is I’m embarrassed and it makes me cringe now. I’m deeply sorry.”
Farrelly isn’t the only person involved with “Green Book” who is suddenly facing scrutiny over his past actions. Co-writer Nick Vallelonga, who is the son of the film’s main character, Tony Vallelonga, reportedly deleted his Twitter account after numerous people found a 2015 tweet Vallelonga directed at Donald Trump that seemingly agreed with the now-president’s statement about seeing videos on the news of “thousands and thousands” in Jersey City, N.J., cheering after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. (Numerous extensive fact-checks of Trump’s statement have found no evidence to support his claim.)
“@realDonaldTrump 100% correct,” Vallelonga’s tweet reportedly read. “Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news.”
Producer Jordan Horowitz, best known as the man who took the microphone at the Oscars to announce that “Moonlight,” not “La La Land,” had won best picture, criticized Vallelonga.
“Nick Vallelonga wrote Green Book,” Horowitz tweeted Wednesday. “My industry just gave him a Golden Globe for writing. This remains on his timeline.
“Mahershala Ali is a Muslim, and a beautiful, generous and kind man,” Horowitz continued, referring to the star of “Green Book” who won a Golden Globe for his performance. “This is all just too disgusting.”
Nick Vallelonga wrote Green Book. My industry just gave him a Golden Globe for writing. This remains on his timeline.— Jordan Horowitz (@jehorowitz) January 10, 2019
Mahershala Ali is a Muslim, and a beautiful, generous and kind man.
This is all just too disgusting. pic.twitter.com/LYVbpFZFUL