Matt Damon apologizes for diversity comments on ‘Project Greenlight …

17 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Matt Damon Apologizes for Comments About Diversity: “I Am Sorry That They Offended Some People”.

In the “Project Greenlight” episode, Matt Damon is having a heated discussion with producer Effie Brown about the importance of diversity in Hollywood, often interrupting and talking over her.LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Damon has apologized for comments regarding diversity in filmmaking that sparked widespread backlash called #Damonsplaining, after a portion of a conversation from HBO’s “Project Greenlight” circulated online.

It took a few days, but is offering up an apology for comments he made to a black female producer during the Season 4 premiere episode of his HBO reality show, Project Greenlight. “I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation,” the Academy Award winner said in a statement to The Wrap. Damon debated with filmmaker Effie Brown, who produced Dear White People, about whether there needs to be diversity behind the camera, as well as in front of it. “I would want to urge people to think about—whoever this director is, how they’re going to treat the character of Harmony,” she said, “the only Black character who’s a hooker who gets hit by her white pimp.” “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” said Damon to argue his point that diverse directors aren’t necessary. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.” The original incident occurred on the show, which offers filmmakers $3m to direct a produce a feature film, when Brown advised a group to be ‘cautious’ when picking a director for a project featuring a black prostitute.

In the interests of diversity, she therefore suggests a team comprising an Asian man, Leo Angelos, and Kristen Brancaccio, a white film-maker who had earlier flagged the stereotypical characterisation of the black character. It’s what I have chosen to do with my life and I want every young person watching Project Greenlight to believe that filmmaking is a viable form of creative expression for them too. Damon, who is known for championing liberal causes, compounded his faux pas with a later “talking heads” segment in which he again suggested diversity should not be an issue when considering the film-making team. “I’m glad Effie flagged the issue of diversity for all of us, because film-making should throw a broader net and it’s high time for that to change,” he said. “But ultimately, if you suddenly change the rules of this competition at the 11th hour, it just seems like you would undermine what the competition was supposed to be about, which is about giving somebody this job based entirely on merit, and leaving all other factors out of it. The idea that our experiences of race and gender shape and inform how we perceive narratives and how we tell stories, makes many, many people uncomfortable.”

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