Talk Back

Matt Damon! Just. Stop.

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Matt Damon made an ill-advised move when he had the audacity to demean the call for diversity in film during the fourth season premiere of HBO’s Project Greenlight, headed by Damon and best friend Ben Affleck.

The show, which is aimed at giving first-time filmmakers an opportunity to get their projects on screen, is now at the center of controversy. The comment made by Damon to Dear White People producer Effie Brown, who happened to be the only Black person included on the judges’ panel is below:

“When we talk about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not the casting of the show.”

This came in response to Brown’s vying for sensitivity and proper handling of a character in a film that was pitched. The scene dealt with a Black prostitute being slapped by her white pimp. Brown’s analysis spoke to the scene being dealt with a certain level of sensitivity. Her point was to “handle with care” and to perhaps consider a Black person to direct the intense scenario.

The group of directors that made it to the finals before Brown, Damon and Affleck consisted of 11 predominately White men and women.

So, Brown’s discernment was surely legit.

The mentality shown by Matt Damon further gives reason why the talk of Blacks in Hollywood and giving a voice to marginalized cultures will not vanish anytime soon. For Damon to think and then share aloud that diversity is as simple as throwing a Black or Brown face in the film and calling it “inclusive” is absolutely pathetic.

Inclusion comes into play when Black and Brown creatives also have a say in how their stories are being told and characters are portrayed.

Le sigh. It’s hard to see the struggle when privilege is a just a given in your daily existence. The fight for a diverse Hollywood still continues.

Watch the exchange below.

We will definitely not let this topic rest.  In fact,  head over to our big sister, EBONY for more in-depth commentary.