Hugh Jackman's former business partner John Palermo, who helped the Australian star make the X-Men blockbusters, has reportedly admitted to posting racist comments on his Facebook page.
Palermo was Jackman's assistant for two years before they set up Seed Productions in 2006. The firm produced X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Jackman and Palermo parted ways in 2010 so the actor could concentrate on his front-of-camera work, but Palermo carried on working behind the scenes and is listed as a producer on Ryan Gosling's Drive.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, things took a sinister turn when Palermo began making extraordinary remarks on his Facebook profile.
"I'm crazy about Julie Chen!!!" he allegedly wrote following the Big Brother presenter's revelation that she had undergone eye surgery to fit in with the TV norm. "Now that her eyes are finally open, she should leave Monster Moonves [Leslie Moonves, her husband, and president of American network CBS]."
Palermo, who has since taken his Facebook page down, claimed the comments were designed to satirise Hollywood's ingrained racism, saying: "Maybe people will look in the mirror and say, 'When was the last time I called Les Moonves and asked for an African-American to play opposite me?'"
When it emerged that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had moved to the Bel-Air suburb, he apparently wrote: "There goes the neighborhood!!! It looks like a Poor Persian Palace, where's Kris Jenner when you need her?! #MoneyCantBuyADumbN****Class."
There were homophobic comments too. When Anderson Cooper attended the opening of his boyfriend's gay bar, he posted: “#SmellsLikeLubeAndHIV."
But Palermo seemed unrepentant. "I stopped caring about what Hollywood thinks of me years ago," he admitted.
"I've got nothing to lose, nothing to gain. I'm a bored dude, unemployed, sitting at home in the Valley. For me, some of the best ways to overcome serious issues is to laugh about them. Because then you truly understand where that ignorance is coming from."