Matt Damon Apologizes for His Project Greenlight Statements; Still Doesn’t Seem to Get It

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Matt Damon recently released a statement in response to criticism of an incident that happened on the season premiere of Project Greenlight this week. In it, he apologizes…but still doesn’t seem to quite get why people were upset:

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.

I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that “much broader conversation.” But the fact is, you don’t need a broader context to see the problem with statements like “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” which is saying outright that the diversity conversation stops at casting. And he didn’t just make this point once. He reiterated it multiple times.

So, now he’s saying that he believes “deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies,” which contradicts his previous statement. So, either he’s changed his mind, or one of those statements wasn’t true. Or, he doesn’t understand how his current apology contradicts his previous one, which would be surprising for a Harvard graduate. In any case, his following his apology up with a defense about a broader conversation we’ll likely never hear doesn’t exactly encourage confidence in the idea that he really understands what he’s apologizing for.

But the bottom line is – it’s not even about apologies. We’re kinda past that. It’s all very well and good to say you want diversity. That you support diversity. People in Damon’s position, in Affleck’s position, in the position of the Farrelly Brothers should do something about it. If you need tips, talk to guys like Judd Apatow and Paul Feig if you’re looking for examples of how to actively create opportunities for women and people of color. Don’t just pay diversity lip service. Otherwise, apologies become meaningless.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.