Hollywood actress Jamie Lee Curtis admitted Sunday she rushed to judge the viral video showing high school student Nick Sandmann wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and standing still in front of 64-year-old Native American Nathan Phillips.
“There are two sides to every story,” she tweeted, attaching a statement from Sandmann, who attends Covington Catholic High in Park Hills, Kentucky.
“I made a snap judgment based on a photograph & I know better than to judge a book by its cover,” Curtis wrote. “I wasn’t there. I shouldn’t have commented. I’m glad there wasn’t violence. I hope theses [sic] two men can meet and find common ground as can WE ALL.”
Other Hollywood celebrities pounced on the video, and none have apologized.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, who on Sunday tweeted a comparison of supporters of President Trump to members of the Ku Klux Klan, fueled the flames early Monday afternoon, saying: “Let’s not forget—this entire event happened because a group of boys went on a school-sanctioned trip to protest against a woman’s right to her own body and reproductive healthcare. It is not debatable that bigotry was at play from the start.”
Actress and comedian Kathy Griffin called for the students to have their identities revealed so that she and others could hold them accountable for their actions.
“Ps. The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent. Name these kids,” Griffin said in a firey tweet Sunday morning. “I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f---ers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”
In a different tweet Sunday morning, she once again called for the doxing of the students who appeared in the video: “Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.”
Actor Chris Evans, who played the role of Captain America in the movies, tweeted Saturday: “This is appalling. The ignorance. The gall. The disrespect. It’s shameful. And sadly on brand.”
The video was recorded Friday at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. The encounter, captured in videos that went viral over the weekend, again cast a spotlight on a polarized nation that doesn’t appear to agree on anything.
Many in the media and Hollywood were quick to slam the group of high school students as aggressors, but by Sunday, longer video showed other aggressors were approaching the students who remained on the steps.
“I would caution everyone passing judgment based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas,” Sandmann, a junior, said in the statement released late Sunday.
Sandmann said in his statement the students from his all-male high school were waiting for their buses near a Hebrew Israelites group when the latter started to taunt them. One of the students took off his shirt and the teens started to do a haka — a war dance of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture, made famous by the country’s national rugby team.
Phillips, an elder of the Omaha tribe, and Marcus Frejo, a member of the Pawnee and Seminole tribes, said they felt the students were mocking the dance and approached the group.
Phillips and Sandmann locked eyes, their faces inches apart. Both men said their goal was simply to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. But caught on video, the encounter still went viral.
The high school students felt they were portrayed unfairly as villains in a situation where they said they were not the provocateurs.
“I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination,” Sandmann said in his statement.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington apologized for the incident, promising an investigation that could lead to punishment up to expulsion if any wrongdoing by the students was determined.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.