The comment quickly drew the attention of Dunn’s long time friend and co-star Bam Margera and celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton. Both commented about the insensitivity of Ebert’s tweet, Margera’s being somewhat more explicit. Hilton claimed it was too soon to start “pointing fingers and poking fun” at the situation. Ebert posted a response to Hiltons comment, claiming that Hilton’s fans were taking his (Ebert’s) side on the issue. Ebert replied that his post wasn’t meant to be insensitive and that he had no way of knowing if Dunn was truly drunk while he was driving.
Ebert also found his Facebook page had been removed due to violating Facebook’s “terms and conditions.” Ebert posted to Twitter about the removal of the page, claiming that his page was “harmless and an asset to you.” The page was reinstated less than an hour later claiming that the removal of the page was an error.
Ebert has since released an apology to the families of both Dunn and Hartwell and reiterated that his first comment wasn’t meant to be mean or poke fun at Dunn. When using the term “jackass,” he was referencing his part in the Jackass franchise and pointed out that Bam Margera had used the term himself in the same context. He ended the statement with a slightly more politically correct statement; friends don’t let friends drink and drive. Ebert isn’t apologizing for what he said, but for the fact that it was construed as cruel and insensitive. The death of Ryan Dunn is an incredible loss, and regardless of whether Dunn was drunk when the accident occurred, Ebert stands behind his opinion that no one should allow a friend to drink and drive.
The toxicology report, which will tell the role alcohol might have played in the accident, should be released in 4-6 weeks. At this time the police are contributing an excessive speed of over 100 mph as the cause of the crash.