Feedback
News

Matt Damon Apologizes for Diversity Comments on Project Greenlight

On Sunday, Matt Damon became the poster child for Hollywood’s lack of diversity after a tense exchange on HBO’s Project Greenlight with the African American filmmaker Effie Brown.

On Wednesday, Damon apologized for his comments, saying in a statement that he was "sorry that they offended some people."

2014 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Dear White People" Premiere - Arrivals
Producer Effie Brown attends the premiere of "Dear White People" during the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival at Premiere House on June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Joe Scarnici / WireImage

During the show, Damon appeared to disregard Brown’s call for diversity on Project Greenlight, which offers filmmakers a chance to direct a $3 million feature film.

Brown advised a group of white film makers to be cautious of which director to select because "the only black person" in the film they're producing is "a hooker who gets hit by her white pimp," and suggested that a woman and an Asian man take on the script,

Damon interrupted and said, "When we're talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show."

"Wow," Brown replied.

A hashtag followed — “#Damonsplaining” — and the actor was ruthlessly mocked on Twitter.

In the statement, Damon said that his “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," Damon said. "That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having."

The full statement is below:

I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies. I love making movies. 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.

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.