On the premiere of the show's fourth season, Damon objected to the suggestion by fellow producer Effie Brown that the directing team of Leo and Kristen, an Asian man and a white woman, would best address issues of diversity in a script in which the only black character is a prostitute. "When we're talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show," he replied.
In a statement, Damon apologized for the anger his words caused, but added that he was glad the debate with Brown has at least sparked a discussion about diversity in Hollywood. "I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies," he said. "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."
Shortly after the telecast, the hashtag #Damonsplaining trended.
Video: Matt Damon under fire over Hollywood diversity comments