Matt Damon has apologised for recent comments he made about diversity in Hollywood, but insists the conversation about racial issues should be ongoing.
During Sunday's (13Sep15) episode of the actor's filmmaking reality competition series Project Greenlight, the Good Will Hunting star sat down with Ben Affleck, the Farrelly brothers and Dear White People producer Effie Brown to discuss the finalists in the running to direct a comedy, in which the sole black character was a prostitute.
During the debate, Brown stressed the importance of selecting a director who would bring diversity to the project, and suggested they pick Asian actor Leo Angelos and Caucasian actress Kristen Brancaccio, prompting Damon to nix the idea.
He felt Angelos and Brancaccio were not the best choices because they had failed to voice potential issues with the character, saying, "On the surface they (Angelos and Brancaccio) look like one thing, but they might end up giving us something we don't want.
"When we're talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show (choosing a director on Project Greenlight)."
Damon's comments caused an uproar among critics, and on Wednesday (16Sep15), he broke his silence over the controversy, pointing out that viewers should engage in conversations such as these more often.
A statement from the actor reads: "I believe deeply that there needs to be more diverse filmmakers making movies. 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."