Actor accused of 'talking over' film producer Effie Brown to explain diversity on HBO reality series
Matt Damon has been widely criticised online for his attempt to explain diversity in Hollywood on a new reality series.
During Sunday’s season premiere of HBO’s Project Greenlight, a show which gives first time film-makers the opportunity to make a feature-length movie, Damon was seen interrupting Effie Brown, producer of films including Dear White People and The Walk, to share his own views on diversity.
Brown argued that diversity should be a consideration both in front of and behind the camera, urging Project Greenlight‘s panel of mentors to choose a director who could ensure a sensitive depiction of Harmony, the lead character in the film being made on the show.
“I want to urge people to think about whoever this director is, the way they are going to treat the character of Harmony, her being a prostitute, the only black person [in the film] being a hooker who gets hit by her white pimp,” Brown said.
Damon interrupted to disagree, saying: “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.” Brown responded with an incredulous “Ooof! Wow! Okay”. Watch a clip of the awkward incident below:
Damon has yet to respond to widespread criticism of his argument, which was dubbed #Damonsplaining on Twitter, but Brown tweeted shortly after the episode aired: “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!”