HitFix

Matt Damon explains to black lady producer how behind-the-scenes diversity isn’t importantt

[UPDATE 9/16/15 – 2:50PM EDT] Matt Damon has issued an apology. It”s not a very GOOD apology though.

After getting heat for his statements about diversity behind the camera on the HBO reality show “Project Greenlight,” Damon issued an official statement clarifying his belief we “need […] more diverse filmmakers making movies.” So far, so good. But then Damon falls into the common trap of “sorry you got your feelings hurt.” From an official statement obtained by The Wrap.

“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.”

While it”s understandably human nature to deflect responsibility, putting the onus on the offended party is not a good look. Let”s allow Louis CK explain!

Most people would agree with Damon that conversations about diversity in all aspects of the film business are worth having. Maybe next time a dialogue can start without silencing minorities to explain to them why they”re wrong.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW

WARNING: SPOILERS AT THE VERY END!

On the Season 4 premiere of HBO”s “Project Greenlight,” the production team gathered round the camera to have a group debate on which lucky contestant(s) would get to film this year”s project: a comedy entitled “Not Another Pretty Woman.” If the title is already sending up red flags, your “Tired Trope” senses are tingling. The film is about a man who is left at the altar and winds up marrying a prostitute instead. Wacky* hijinks ensue when it turns out Harmony – the only black character in the script – has a white pimp who slaps her around.

COMEDY!

*Highly problematic and probably sexist.

Producer Effie Brown (“Dear White People,”) had the unenviable task of being the only PoC in the room while the horror that is this concept unfolded. The rest of the production team includes Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, and Jennifer Todd. As such, Brown made a valiant effort to explain why it was important to choose a director who would treat the character of Harmony with respect instead of turning her into an exploitative trope.

Matt Damon was having none of that.

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