Matt Damon is unknowingly owning a term almost as awful as "mansplaining" — yup, he's in serious hot water for "whitesplaining" diversity in Hollywood to not just a black woman but respected filmmaker Effie Brown. Eek. We hope this gets cleared up before Twitter continues to blow up in Damon's face.
“Damonsplaining” quickly took on a life of it’s own on social media.
Let's backtrack. On Sunday's episode of HBO's Project Greenlight — that show where he and Ben Affleck help give newbie moviemakers the opportunity to make a film — Brown and Damon were discussing a script featuring a black prostitute. A concerned Brown stressed that in order to portray this character genuinely and accurately, there needs to be diversity behind as well as on camera. But Damon interrupted her and scoffed at the idea saying, “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show.” Um, not necessarily, Damon.
Hollywood’s diversity problem has been an issue for longer than Damon has been alive. The main culprit starts at the top, that’s right, from behind the camera, according to UCLA’s 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report. UCLA surveyed the top 200 films — as well as every broadcast, cable, and digital TV series — of 2012 and 2013 and found that, “Film studio heads were 94 percent of white and 100 percent male, and television network and studio heads were 96 percent white and 71 percent male.” The numbers speak for themselves.
Even those in Hollywood recognize the problem. Ahem, like singer and actor Marc Anthony, who spoke on how Latinos were portrayed on screen. While his mandate isn’t entirely that simple, the formula remains the same: In order for their to be change, minorities need to be behind the camera.
“You have a complaint? Educate yourself, take up writing, become a producer, direct it,” the salsa singer told HuffPost Live in 2013. “You know what I’m saying? Get up and do it — write good material, produce good films. I’m not of the mind that we’re owed [anything] because ‘oh every Latino on TV is either criminal' . . . then get up and do better.”
Well, Anthony, filmmakers like Brown are doing their best but considering the stances of fellow colleagues like Damon, making it happen is still elusive.
We would like to think that Damon misspoke, but because he is one of the producers behind Project Greenlight, he further endorsed this opinion by letting this scene air. Here's to hoping something positive will come of this.
What did you think of his comments?