During their acceptance speech for the Best Picture Backstage, after Green Book‘s 2019 Oscar win for Best Picture, Shadow And Act asked the producers, writers and director of the film Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Jim Burke:
“I’m wondering, since Donald Shirley was omitted from your thank you speech, if you had anything you wanted to say about Donald Shirley, and also, I’m wondering if the controversy around the storytelling and the lens through which the story was told will change the way you tell stories in the future?”
Here’s how Vallelonga responded:
Vallelonga shared again that before Dr. Shirley’s death, that Dr. Shirley had asked him not to speak to Dr. Shirley’s family about the movie Vallelonga was making. He then says, “I wish I could’ve reached out to Don Shirley’s family,” Vallelonga said. “I didn’t even know they really existed.”
The New York Times obituary for Donald Shirley from 2013 lists his surviving family members, including his brother Dr. Maurice Shirley. Read our exclusive interview with Dr. Maurice Shirley, where he calls Green Book “a symphony of lies,” here.