Welcome to 2018, a year in which — if you express respect for someone who disagrees with you — social media mobs will band together to shame you and pummel you into an apology.
Filmmaker Mark Duplass (shown above right), who has starred in such shows as “Goliath” and “The Mindy Project” and directed the films “Cyrus” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” is an openly liberal artist. But he recently took to Twitter to say some kind things about conservative commentator and Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro (above left).
On Thursday, Duplass wrote that Shapiro was a “genuine person” with good intentions. And he encouraged his fans to follow Shapiro in the now-deleted tweet.
“Fellow liberals: If you are interested in ‘crossing the aisle’ you should consider following Ben Shapiro. I don’t agree with him on much but he’s a genuine person who once helped me for no other reason than to be nice. He doesn’t bend the truth. His intentions are good,” wrote the filmmaker.
Many responded with outrage.
I wish I had the energy to drag Mark Duplass but I met my quota of arguing with guys who look like this at a liberal arts college ten years ago pic.twitter.com/u72BtG6yN8
— Alana Hope Levinson (@alanalevinson) July 18, 2018
Mark Duplass made a white dude solidarity declaration with an unrepentant misogynist and racist because the guy had once been nice to him — just like King’s “hug the people trying to kill you” nonsense. Only white guys think other white guys pulling this routine is original. pic.twitter.com/fau1u8rQtP
— Salome Strangelove (@salstrange) July 18, 2018
Duplass later deleted his tweet and replaced it with this apology:
— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) July 19, 2018
The apology for daring to show respect to someone on the opposite side of the aisle didn’t earn him many conservative fans.
This is pathetic. McCarthyite Hollywood demands you toe the line they draw. Sickening. This is liberal tolerance. https://t.co/XMUcm7rose
— Nick Searcy, INTERNATIONAL FILM AND TV STAR (@yesnicksearcy) July 19, 2018
So @MarkDuplass, when you back down from standing for tolerance, you do intolerance a service.
Fellow liberals: follow my friend @benshapiro. Help me fight him on his "red-meat" left-baiting act, but stay for his big heart, sharp mind & real willingness to "cross the aisle." pic.twitter.com/17AiPWpvYL
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) July 19, 2018
Ben Shapiro himself responded to the flip by Duplass and tweeted the following:
So in 24 hours I apparently went from being a person with good intentions to a racist sexist bigot. Twitter toxifies any attempt to cross the aisle. There's no conservative Mark could have recommended who wouldn’t receive the same blowback. https://t.co/JEizw69eFH
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 19, 2018
What a sad state of affairs. Groupthink bullies shame anyone who dares to be friendly to people with different beliefs.
The ability to discuss issues with those with whom you disagree is partly what this country is built on and what makes it great. How dare anybody shame an artist into going back on an opinion that only promotes unity.
And, quite frankly, shame on Duplass for caving in to the pressure.