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Matt Damon Apologizes For His Comments About Diversity in Film

Matt Damon Apologizes For His Comments About Diversity in Film

Matt Damon has just released a statement apologizing for the controversial comments he made on Project Greenlight about diversity in film.

“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,” the 44-year-old actor told Just Jared in a statement.

“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,” Matt concluded.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Matt Damon

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  • Anastatia Bagans

    I really can’t stand this generation where you can’t say anything or else people are offended by it. Shut the f*ck up. Black people make up a small portion of America. There will ALWAYS be more white people in everything and anything because THEY’RE MORE WHITES IN THIS COUNTRY. Deal with it. We have been becoming more diverse than ever before and these whiny good for nothing’s still complain and all of these dumb white liberals just take it for fear of sounding “racist” because we all know those are the labels these morons will throw at him. He’s a moron for apologizing.

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  • Gina

    No, honey. He damn well needed to apologize. He as a white male had the nerve to try and educate a black filmmaker on the meaning of diversity as if she doesn’t have to deal with the struggles of the lack of diversity in Hollywood. He is trying to dictate to her the rules of diversity from the perspective of a white man who never had to deal with being racially excluded in society. He is the poster child for white privilege.

  • Anastatia Bagans

    Seriously girl, you lost me at “white privilege” simply because of the hypocrisy behind it. You’re sitting there saying “how dare you tell somebody black what it’s like” yet you’re sitting there telling white people what it’s like for them. You’re telling them they’re privileged. Lmao, judging by your logic, you owe me an apology. Matt Damon had no connections in the business, he made it there on his talent, privilege is a word used to devalue somebody, and it’s pathetic.

  • Gina

    I’m sure him being white had a little something to do with his success. But anyways, that’s the problem with some of you white people, you don’t even realize your own privilege which makes you that much more hypocritical and dangerous as a whole. I had to laugh at your “you don’t know what it’s like for white people” comment. HA! Oh, yes, the struggles you’ve had to endure, woe is you. It must be hard being white and living in a system designed by and for you. I have much more respect for those who are aware of their privilege than those who turn a blind eye and vow to deny it till their dying day. “Seriously, girl.”

  • Anastatia Bagans

    Boo hoo, your whiny, hypocritical sh*t won’t get you anywhere. You’re ignorant. I don’t agree with your statements and as a result I’m automatically a stereotype. Your posts and your mentality reek of everything biased and hypocritical. I could careless to entertain this and I for damn sure could careless if somebody like YOU respects me lmao. “oh yes the struggles you had to endure” and how would you know my life? You’re judging me because I’m a different race than you, how ironic. Apparently you know everything about me because I’m white lmao. You’re going against everything you say you’re about and that’s why society won’t ever take people with your brainless agenda and mentality seriously. Now if you were a person of true merit and understood that the struggles of poverty, lack of education and resources see no color, I’d take what you had to say a little more seriously. Our system caters to the rich before race. It’s always been rich vs the poor in this country.

  • Gina

    Ha! Me biased & hypocritical? This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black (pun absolutely intended). I hope to God, you aren’t really as moronic as you sound. When I say woe is you, I’m speaking to the fact that you seem to imply that white people have racial hardships. They DO NOT! ALL humans have hardships, but racial hardships are not something that white people ever have to endure ON TOP of everything else life has to offer. I don’t need to know a damn thing about you or your tiny little life to know that, honey. And no amount of your incessant whining is going to change my views on that. As far as the system catering to the rich, the majority of rich people are of what race? Yep, they’re WHITE. It always comes back to that because class and race issues intersect. Class issues do not stand on their own, honey. Of course there are poor white people, but the number of poor black people in relation to their population size are alarmingly disproportionate. This speaks to a system that caters to white people. Studies show that a white person with a criminal record is more likely to be hired for a job than a black person with no record. A white person with a high school education is more likely to get hired than a black person with a college degree. So don’t you dare tell me that the struggles of poverty, lack of education and resources see no color! How disgustingly blind and hard headed could you be? You are the perfect example that the denial of racism is the new racism. Go read a book and get back to me with a better argument.

  • Josh Howell

    I don’t disagree with you but speaking in absolutes is a problem Gina.

    White people have had racial hardships. Whether it was because they were Jewish or Irish or Polish etc… It was often times at the hands of people who were considered “white” first.

    The lack of a discernible culture is also a problem for the white community. Not to say that this is in any way more important than civil rights for Black and Latino and Asian people etc… But if you deny anything exists it only emboldens the people that focus on it to throw it around more and more often and in a louder tone.

    When you tell people they don’t have any perspective on something, you’re not inviting conversation that’s open or coherent from them and thus killing potential understanding and growth.

  • Gina

    I’m well aware of the hardships that the Jewish, Irish or the Polish have faced in the past. But the truth is, it has not carried over to current day they way it has for blacks when it comes to socio-economic status in America. You would be remiss to tell me that in 2015 in America, these groups of white people have not significantly increased their standing in society or that their white skin doesn’t trump their country of origin any day of the week. I mean, Jewish people run Hollywood for Godsakes! When someone’s perspective is riddled with denials, half-truths and willful ignorance it is very difficult to have a conversation with them.

  • Josh Howell

    You can’t quantify pain though. The pain you personally feel is always greater than someone else’s. What changes really is the immediacy of it.

    Getting people to realize some problems are more immediate than others and need to be addressed first is the goal.

    Just like someone can’t describe what the color blue looks like to you from their eyes. Nobody can truly understand what another group of people goes through. That sword cuts both ways.

    As for the comment “Jews run Hollywood” that’s a part of the problem. Even in this era where “whites” are said to have it so wonderfully, there’s groups within groups. Jews are still attacked even now for being Jewish. Look at Muslims, Arabic or Persian people. Is it as bad as it was? No, depending on where you are on the planet but the seeds are there even in the US. Things just don’t start out at the pinnacle of their horror, even racism and injustice. They start small and burn as an ember, the flame comes later.

    Deep rooted intolerance even if mild at first can become inspired to lead horrible things like the KKK to form. It started out with ignorance and personal bias. Let’s not repeat the same mistakes of the past by attacking to prove a point.

    Because people of color can’t physically blend in as easily in terms of skintone, doesn’t mean that Jews or other groups of “whites” don’t get singled out or haven’t been in the past. But like I said, the struggle they experience may not be as physically tough or maybe even emotionally as tough nowadays. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Even in an all “white” situation economics and background can come into play. You can be judged for not being “white” enough, rich enough, intelligent enough, manly or womanly enough etc… There’s a ton of ways to discriminate, moving towards or away from just a purely racial reason.

    The dilemma is, if you’re black you have to convince non black or perhaps specifically white people that the cause matters. Telling those same people that their perspective on what they feel is their own plight as they see it is garbage will only serve as an insult. Black people don’t need to tell other Black people that say Black Lives Matter. They likely already know that, it’s the other races or white people that need to hear it and be convinced. Just like Women don’t typically have to tell other Women that voting rights matter or equal pay for equal work matters. It’s the men that need to hear it and come to grips with it or join the chorus.

    If people spend time tearing down others that they ultimately need on their respective sides they won’t ever find a reason to join. It’ll only be a session of trading barbs with one another until they throw their hands up and walk away. Both thinking the other side is wrong and their side is right.

    Just like you wouldn’t want to be told that what you consider highly important is an abject waste of time, they don’t want to hear that either. Even if it ultimately is true that you’re right or more right than they are. It still won’t facilitate an understanding.

  • Gina

    The fact that you are only choosing to give me guidelines on how I need to approach race and not the other person I’m conversing with, speaks to your bias. Your “white people have problems too” argument not only trivializes the argument I’m trying to make but sweeps it under the rug when in comes to the big picture. I’m not denying that there are injustices within the white community but how about we deal with the blatant and persistently ongoing societal injustices in front of us? If you have the nerve to tell me that people of color are not at the bottom of society’s totem poll then we can end our conversation right here. Because all I see is you splitting hairs by mentioning that groups within the white community are discriminated against and ignoring the bigger picture. People of color are at the bottom of the totem pole in society as a WHOLE. Do you realize how silly you sound by bringing up the “lowest white person on the white totem pole” argument when even they have advantages over many people of color in society as a whole? That is the type of blatant injustice that I’m speaking of. But I do agree with you on one thing, it is hard to convince a racist that racism exists. The fact that white people have to be convinced that black lives matter is a perfect example of that.

  • Josh Howell

    I’m trying to give perspective to the side that I feel is far and away the closest to being correct. An that side is yours. In order to help bolster the argument you’re making. I’m trying to offer a window into why some people shun what you’re saying and ignore it as being in any way valid. I was only trying to help in whatever strange way this format allows.

    I never said we shouldn’t deal with the most important ordeals facing our society. There are serious racial problems in our society that need to be fixed. For instance Black people being killed by police is one of those at the top of the list.

    The reason why white people need to hear about the importance of black lives isn’t that they don’t value human life. It’s that they have the greatest influence in our society. Influence is power and power seeks to bolster itself. Intentionally or not that’s what power does. It coalesces at the top.

    No one reasonably gives up any form of power. So people need to be convinced to willingly acknowledge their faults. Which again, is incredibly hard to do. It’s hard to look at oneself and say “Yes, what I’m doing is a part of the problem, I’m the cause”.

    I just worry that in the political climate of the US as an example. Trump’s rise to power is based on this very type of argument. People shouting at each other and retreating to their camps. Neither one understanding the other. Society has allowed more politeness in public but without understanding those that are racist or bigoted just lie in wait.

    Now when someone like Donald shows up they see themselves reflected in him. They feel encouraged to come out into the public arena again and attack people. Attack them for being who they are. Because they feel repressed. Repressing racism or other hatreds doesn’t eliminate them. If there’s no understanding then there’s no learning. if you give your argument to people and they hurl insults at you and you back at them. They don’t hear you and the time is sometimes completely wasted.

    Other than that I did and do enjoy talking with you and appreciate your taking the time. I apologize if I seemed harsh or in any way dismissive. I’m genuinely interested in social matters like this and relish the chance to talk to people about it.

    We all know Matt’s apology will go over about as well as a lead balloon. But hopefully people out there who feel the way he did will begin to realise or see how narrow minded that view is and make changes about it.

  • Gina

    You make fair points.