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Matt Damon apologizes for statement about diversity

Matt Damon at a recent press conference promoting the film "The Martian" at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Matt Damon at a recent press conference promoting the film "The Martian" at the Toronto International Film Festival. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP

Matt Damon apologized Wednesday for a comment he made during the season premiere of HBO’s “Project Greenlight” that implied that the actor doesn’t think diversity in film is a priority. “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 said in a statement to JustJared.com. “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.” On the show’s debut episode, veteran Hollywood producer Effie Brown, who’s black, pointed out that the script being turned into a movie has only one black character, and she’s a prostitute. Brown said the person chosen to direct the film should be sensitive to how that character is portrayed. In response, Damon seemed to say it’s not important if the director is white or black. “When we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” he said, suggesting that diversity is not a priority in picking a director.