Matt Damon apologises for offending people with comments about diversity

The actor said his comments were taken out of context 

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Matt Damon has apologised for causing "offence" with comments he made while explaining diversity to a black film producer during a conversation about casting directors.

Damon was criticised for remarks he made during the premiere of HBO’s reality television series, Project Greenlight, where he interrupted black producer Effie Brown as she talked about the importance of considering diversity when choosing a directing team and told her: “When we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show.”

Edited footage from the conversation showed Brown was clearly shocked by his comment and his claim was also poorly received on social media, with many users accusing Damon of 'whitesplaining' diversity.

The Martians actor responded to backlash he received in a statement claiming his comments were taken out of context.

He also said he was "pleased" to have sparked a debate about diversity in the film industry.

“I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies," he said. "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.”

Brown addressed the strong reaction on social media in a tweet on Monday, writing: “Ooof! Wow! Okay. Thank you for watching the show and getting a great conversation started. I can't wait to hear you on the other episodes!”

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