Matt Damon Argues With Black Movie Producer Effie Brown About Racial Diversity (VIDEO)
Matt Damon got into a heated racial debate with black movie producer Effie Brown on Sunday’s episode of “Project Greenlight.” The actor is now receiving backlash on social media for his controversial opinion about the inclusion of diversity in filmmaking. Watch the video below.
“Project Greenlight” is an HBO docuseries that chronicles the behind-the-scenes process of making a movie. Season four of the show, produced by Damon and Ben Affleck, premiered on Sunday night after a 10-year hiatus.
The show has a group of first-time filmmakers vying for the chance to make a movie. The winner is chosen by around eight producers who, other than Brown, are all white men and one white woman.
During a discussion about the film that Damon, Brown and the others are producing, Brown pointed out that the only black character in the entire script is a prostitute who gets slapped by a white pimp. She didn’t suggest that they necessarily change the script, but felt that the director who’s chosen to oversee the project handle that scene with care, and that the other producers should consider choosing an ethnically diverse finalist.
“When we talk about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not the casting of the show,” Damon argued back. A shocked Brown responded, “Wow!” as she rolled her eyes. In other words, Damon thought it was important to cast ethnic actors, but not necessarily as vital to have the filmmakers in charge of the project be people of color.
Damon later said in an on-camera confessional, “I’m glad Effie flagged the issue of diversity for all of us.” But he argued that the person for the job be chosen based on “merit,” leaving “all other factors out if it.”
Some people on social media have now called out Damon for his comments. Twitter user Matthew A. Cherry tweeted, “Lost all respect for Matt Damon after watching the premiere of ‘Project Greenlight.’ Typical Hollywood mentality smh.” A man named Todd VanDerWerff wrote, “That Matt Damon diversity moment in the ‘Project Greenlight’ premiere is SO cringe-y bad.” Meanwhile, user Zoé S. joked, “‘Hi black woman. I know you don’t get many chances to speak uninterrupted, so let me say something about diversity briefly’ – Matt Damon.”
Watch Matt Damon and Effie Brown’s exchange in the video below, and tell us what you think.
WATCH: Matt Damon attempts to white-splain racial diversity to a black female producer in Hollywood. pic.twitter.com/NeMtz1tR94
— Tyree Boyd-Pates (@TyreeBP) September 14, 2015