Hollywood has a diversity problem. This is nothing new, but after last February’s Academy Awards nominations got turned into the cheeky yet poignant hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, the film business’ ugly little secret was exposed to the light of day.

Earlier this year, UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies released its second annual Hollywood Diversity Report, highlighting the disparities in the industry.

Some of the key findings?

  • Women make up just 6.3 percent of directors, and 17 percent of film studio senior management
  • People of color directed just 17.8 percent of theatrical films in 2013, and made up just 8 percent of film studio senior management

Despite the low numbers of people of color and women in power positions, Matt Damon thinks it’s totally ok.

On a recent episode of HBO’s Project Greenlight, a show that helps first-time filmmakers get their projects made, Damon tried to “whitespain” diversity casting to Dear White People producer Effie Brown, who’s also had her hand in 17 other films.

In one clip from Sunday’s show, Brown argues that people of color should be in decision-making positions so that stories involving minorities are told correctly, while Damon brushes her concerns aside saying diversity should be handled “in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”

Translation: people of color should be actors, not writers, producers, or directors.

Got it.

Umm, sure Matt, because all white decision-makers are always capable of telling Black stories correctly?

We know better than that.

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  • mywordsaremypower

    That face she pulls. She was more civil then I would be. It does not matter if your mindset is left, right up or down this is how the majority of white males will feel. There is this entitlement that only a Cis White Males voices are what people should listen to. Please Matt educate yourself on diversity.

  • *NmySkynn70*

    “they” are pretty much saying (and have said for decades) that they don’t want to hear our stories (unless it’s about some sports figure or rap mogul). So should this truly be surprised?

    • Right on Sister.

      His ignorant words shouldn’t be a shock. I feel for the Sister having to experience that form of disrespect and condescension (Damon claims to be a liberal, but he has shown white male privilege in a horrendously disrespectful way). Sony emails and the research from Sister Cynthia McKinney document how racism and other forms of a lax diverse situation exist found in Hollywood. The fact is that black people have been heavily qualified to produce, direct, and to have other leadership involvement in movies. Oscar Micheaux was a Brother who was a legend in film making. solutions should be comprehensive and that is why black owned infrastructure is important to advance.

    • *NmySkynn70*

      Preach sister! i co-sign 100! that’s why i don’t support any movies out today, they don’t want to hire blacks in front of or behind the camera, they won’t get my $$$ i wish more of us would take that stand and not go and support an industry that doesn’t want to include or acknowledge you.

    • I am a Brother. :)

      Thank you for your words Sister. You’re exactly right to not support those who refuse to support us. We are a talented people. When we are given fairness and opportunity, then we excel greatly (as this has been shown throughout human history). Also, we excel in the midst of oppression too.

    • *NmySkynn70*

      MY BAD, sorry i thought i was replying to Nori.

    • That’s cool Sister.

    • P.S. Also, when we fight for our liberation and finally get victory in the future, then the victory will be so much more rewarding. We are always fighters. We a’int descended from weak people. No weak people survived the Maafa. No weak people survived Jim Crow. No weak people survived other injustices. Sorry about the preaching, but I love to preach at times. LOL. :) You have shown eloquent words as well. We won’t back down either. Wisdom is on our side and the truth will always manifest itself in a firm foundation.

    • *NmySkynn70*

      Amen Buddy, as always, you come correct with the daily bread!

    • elle D.

      Doesn’t he though?!

    • You are so kind. :)

    • elle D.

      My peoples like you –make it easy Brother T!

    • Well, you are a very insightful person. There will be a remnant who loves truth and will express it wholeheartedly. Bless You Sister.

    • elle D.

      Yes indeed, thank you for the positive words and the Blessing, I wish the same for you–when I run short on time to really post or respond to some of the articles, I always look to you and the good Sisters on here who always hold it down. You speak in truth and the light stays shining from your direction, I love it!

    • *NmySkynn70*

      YESS a very bright and articulate young man, i know his parents are very proud.

    • elle D.

      Indeed, they must be!

    • He has brothers too girl….

    • You are a kind Sister too.

    • Thanks Truth ( giving you the Black handshake ;)
      Black women need to know that Black men still exist who will defend them and speak up for them- I know you guys are out there but sometimes the loudest voices are the most ignorant.

    • You’re Welcome Sister.

      I was raised by two amazing people who taught me about integrity and true honor. We will always stand up against the evil of misogynoir and advance egalitarianism. We are opposed to bigotry and injustice. You know what they say: Some males with the loudest voices in displaying ignorance are the weakest. Many Black men get it and Black women have always been strong throughout human history. I feel you on the black handshake ;)

    • Let me get my black self to sleep. Lol. Enjoy your Day Sister. :)

    • *NmySkynn70*


  • sethblink

    So Matt Damon and the other producers of this show chose to include that scene and that line in the show. Are they being brutally honest and willing to show themselves in a negative light. Or, did he not only say that, but also watched himself say it and decide, yeah, let’s leave that in there. It’s a good explanation of how we do this? My other question is his choice of words. He’s referring to the selection of a filmmaker as “the casting of the show.” So are they choosing the director based on the person’s ability to make the film or on their qualities as an on-screen personality on their reality show? Either way, quite a moment from a guy who has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s liberals.

    • Syd67

      Ya know, I think he may have chosen to include this scene considering the backlash Ben Affleck received from asking Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to remove the part of his episode of Finding Your Roots where he finds out he had a slave owning ancestor. He may have learned from his friend’s mistake and decided to show himself in all his white-male-privilege-having glory lest this scene come out later and he looks like he intentionally excluded it to keep his liberal good guy image intact.

  • kardsufur

    looks to me like she was trying to talk over him, not the other way around

  • Syd67

    And let’s not even get to the script’s premise, it’s horrendous.