Matt Damon Has Twitter Seeing Red Over ‘Project Greenlight’ Diversity Comment

“When we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show,” Damon said in an exchange with producer Effie Brown

Matt Damon has come under fire on social media for an exchange that aired during Sunday night’s season premiere of HBO docu-series “Project Greenlight.”

In choosing a director for a comedy with a black prostitute as a main character, Damon and his fellow producers – including Ben Affleck, the Farrelly brothers and “Dear White People” producer Effie Brown – debated the finalists they had to choose from.

Brown lobbied for the directing duo of Leo Angelos & Kristen Brancaccio, an Asian man and white woman, arguing they could bring a diverse perspective to the script.

“I would want to urge people to think about – whoever this director is, how they’re going to treat the character of Harmony,” she said. “The only black character who’s a hooker who gets hit by her white pimp.”

Damon retorted that Angelos and Brancaccio, out of the group of finalists, were the only ones who did not bring up the potentially problematic issues with the Harmony character.

“So on the surface they look like one thing, but they might end up giving us something we don’t want,” he said.

But his next statement is when viewers decided he crossed a line.

“When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” he said, referring to the need to focus on diversity during casting, not during the staffing of the show.

“Wow. Okay!” Brown answered in amazement.

Many social media users were just as exasperated as Brown. They relentlessly roasted Damon on Twitter and caused the hashtag #damonsplaining to trend for several hours on Monday.

Matt Damon speaking over the only black person in the room so he can explain diversity to her is SO WHITE it hurts,” said Twitter user MrPooni, whose tweet has been retweeted over 3,000 times and favorited nearly 2,500 times.

“Project Greenlight” ended up choosing New York-based director Jason Mann, a white male, for the job, and the rest of the season is set to follow Mann as he sets out to direct the Farrelly brothers’ script, “Not Another Pretty Woman.”

Reps for Damon have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Below is a sampling of social media reactions to the “Project Greenlight” exchange: