Matt Damon Insists on Explaining Diversity to a Black Female Filmmaker

Matt Damon Insists on Explaining Diversity to a Black Female Filmmaker

Effie Brown was shut down by the Oscar winner.

Published September 14, 2015

During the premiere of season four of HBO's reality series Project Greenlight, a program centered around the filmmaking process, actor Matt Damon shared his thoughts on diversity in media that left many viewers disgusted by his blatant acceptance of white privilege in Hollywood.

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According to Jezebel, in the episode, Damon and actor pal Ben Affleck brought together a team of producers — mostly consisting of white men and one white woman — to find a qualified director for the new comedy series Not Another Pretty Woman. The finalists who were chosen were flown to Los Angeles where they met with the production team to discuss the next steps in the process. This is where they meet renowned Black filmmaker Effie Brown, known for producing several feature films including the critically acclaimed Dear White People.

After Brown suggests that it would be best to feature a diverse group of directors in the pool of potential candidates — seeing as the plot for Not Another Pretty Woman is described as a classic "girl leaves boy at the altar, boy falls in love with a Black prostitute" story — Damon firmly disagrees with her statement.

"When we're talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show," he said adamantly. Visibly shocked by his response, Brown replied, "Wow. Ok."

While his words left a bad taste in many viewers' mouths, what left many particularly disturbed was his overbearing actions where he repeatedly talked over Brown in an attempt to silence her mid-statement. Take a look for yourself in the video below.

What do you think of Matt Damon's polarizing statement?

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(Photos from left: Walter McBride/FilmMagic, Araya Diaz/WireImage)

Written by Moriba Cummings

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