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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Matt Damon has apologized for comments regarding diversity in filmmaking that sparked widespread backlash, after a portion of a conversation from HBO’s “Project Greenlight” circulated online.

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In the segment, Damon was shown shutting down producer Effie Brown (“Dear White People”) who made a case that a script dealing with sensitive subjects like prostitution should have a diverse directing team behind it. Damon responded that diversity should be handled in “the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”

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In a statement, Damon said he believes “deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies.” His comments, he said, were part of a broader conversation that did not make the show. He also apologized for any offense caused, but is happy that it started a conversation.

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