Just read this great article on Jezebel about something Matt Damon said on HBO’s Project Greenlight, which to my own ignorance had its season four premiere Sunday night.
Project Greenlight, the brainchild of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck gives first time filmmakers the opportunity to make a movie. Harmless enough right?
Well, in the season premiere the issue of diversity comes about, and Matt Damon finds himself telling the only black person – Effie Brown, Hollywood Producer of more than seventeen movies, that she doesn’t understand diversity, her reaction, priceless.
Matt Damon speaking over the only black person in the room so he can explain diversity to her is SO WHITE it hurts pic.twitter.com/iaQStYZ0ij
— Glen Coco (@MrPooni) September 14, 2015
The title of the Jezebel piece reads, ” Matt Damon Interrupts Successful Black Woman Filmmaker to Explain Diversity to Her” what’s ironic to me is the same lack of diversity Jezebel attacks Damon for having, they do the same in their title of the article. While Matt Damon is mentioned by name (I get it he’s more famous) Brown is her job title, race and gender. Brown isn’t the only woman producer/filmmaker who isn’t white either, so why the need to highlight that?
Well, one reason is, I wouldn’t have clicked the link if the title read “Matt Damon Interrupts Effie Brown to Explain Diversity to Her” or “Matt Damon Interrupts Black Filmmaker while Diversify discussion.” Second, whoever wrote that title, just doesn’t see the issue. Nothing negative was said, hell, there was even a positive adjective to describe Brown (successful) but do we only respect the opinions and thoughts of successful black people? (yes, James Blake got a public apology from New York for their police officers mishandling his situation, I don’t know many other black people who get that.)
I agree with the writer of the article, Matt Damon was essentially “whitesplaining” (never knew of that word before reading the article), but this idea of whitesplaining as being some sectioned off way of thinking only for white elites isn’t the case either. Matt Damon and the others like him don’t think diversity is an issue, because IT’S not for them.
On TV, in movies, books wherever you look in this country there’s no need for inclusion of white people, but the inclusion of everybody else who isn’t. Whether Damon is wrong or right is not something I particularly care to argue, what I will argue however is, the ideas Damon was willing to share with the rest of the nation comes from an ignorance that he was born into. What’s great about that though, ignorance is taught, and can be changed.
I mean, there’s only one group of people in this country who don’t put a hyphen before the American, I’m just saying.