Matt Damon issues apologetic remarks after interrupting African-American producer discussing diversity

Matt Damon, who co-starred in HBOÕs ÒBehind the Candelabra" at the HBO after party following the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., Sept. 22, 2013. (Emily Berl for The New York Times)

Effie Brown, producer of Dear White People, was in the middle of explaining the importance of a diverse film crew on a film with only one black character – a “hooker who gets hit by her white pimp” – when Matt Damon butted in. “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show [reality show Project Greenlight],” he said. The exchange left Brown visibly taken aback (she responded with “Wow. Ok.”) and later in the program, Damon said again that only merit, not diversity, should be a factor in building the show’s film-making team. “I think the whole point of this thing is that you go for the best director, period,” he said. Backlash against Damon’s words came quickly from critics using the hashtag #damonsplaining, a play on mansplaining. The actor released an apology, claiming his full remarks were edited out of the program. “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,” he said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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