Matt Damon has been seeing a lot of online backlash in the last few days after some controversial comments about diversity on an episode of Project Greenlight. Today, Damon publish a statement where he apologized for the uproar his words created.
Damon’s comments came during a discussion between himself and African American producer Effie Brown, where Damon inadvertently stated that diversity was necessary on-screen, but not as much for the production team. “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” Damon said.
Brown was visibly shocked by the incident, having led the conversation by discussing the need for diversity behind the camera when dealing with scripts on racially-charged themes and issues. In a later discussion, Damon thanked Brown for bringing up diversity, but seemed to double down by saying that saying changing the standards of filmmaking “would undermine what the competition is supposed to be about, which is about giving somebody this job based entirely on merit.”
Damon’s statement, which was published by Variety, insisted that the actor does believe in the need diversity among filmmakers, citing the importance of creative expression:
My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of ‘Project Greenlight’ which did not make the show. I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.
[h/t Hollywood Reporter]
[Image via wikimedia]
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