John Green might seem like an infallible YA author who never ever fails to give us clever characters, hip lingo and, most importantly, a few ugly cry-worthy punches in the feelspot. But, as it turns out, even he's got a case of regret over one piece of his work.
His 2008 novel "Paper Towns," the film adaptation of which hits theaters next month, included what he now admits was a poor word choice: "retarded."
Yep, the R-word was used in by the central character Q (short for Quentin) as a descriptor for another in the book - for example, the teen protagonist of the story said, "Sometimes he's so retarded that he becomes kind of brilliant." Considering the fact that the character was so opposed to other derogatory terms, it was pretty out of turn.
And though this has been a point of contention within Green's readership for a while now -- there've been blog posts and forum strands dedicated to the subject -- Green received some new flack from a fan via Twitter on Friday (June 12).
Rather than letting the critique fade into the social media oblivion, the self-proclaimed nerdfighter who coined the phrase "Don't Forget To Be Awesome" as a means of encouraging positivity within his mostly young adult audience, seized the opportunity to offer his acknowledgment and an apology.
"Yeah, I regret it. At the time, I thought an author's responsibility was to reflect language as I found it, but now ... eight years later, I don't feel like a book about humanizing the other benefited from dehumanizing language," Green wrote.
"It's not in the movie, and I won't use the word again in a book or elsewhere," he further promised.
"Paper Towns," starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, hits theaters on July 24.