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Mark Duplass criticized for defending conservative pundit Ben Shapiro in since-deleted tweet

Mark Duplass’s tweet about Ben Shapiro sparked backlash. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Mark Duplass has deleted a tweet voicing support for conservative commentator Ben Shapiro after receiving backlash.

The actor, director, and producer — who is best known for The League as well as producing the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country with his brother, Transparent star Jay Duplass — shared the tweet on Wednesday.

“Fellow liberals: If you are interested at all in ‘crossing the aisle,’ you should consider following @benshapiro,” the tweet read. “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.”

Shapiro is a podcaster, columnist, radio host, and editor in chief of conservative news outlet the Daily Wire. He is critical of climate change and abortion, and has made controversial statements comparing being transgender to having a “psychological disorder.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that many of Duplass’s “fellow liberals” were offended by his suggestion to give Shapiro the benefit of the doubt. Some accused him of white privilege, others of being naive.

Duplass did have his defenders, with some — including director James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame — arguing that Shapiro’s critics are misplacing their outrage.

Shapiro responded to Gunn’s message with a retweet — and an insult.

On Thursday morning Duplass issued a statement apologizing for his tweet, which he called a “disaster.” He did, however, reiterate his eagerness to foster “bi-partisan understanding.”

This article has been updated to include Duplass’s statement. 

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