Good grief. As a writer and filmmaker, I’ve got at least two dogs and three cats in this fight (never attempted to get on this show, but all other conflicts apply). But still, come on:
Last night was the fourth season premiere of HBO’s Project Greenlight—a Matt Damon and Ben Affleck passion project where they give first time filmmakers the chance to make a movie. It also provided a platform for Matt Damon to deliver a masterclass in whitesplaining—a whitesplaining sermon, if you will.
They enlist a group of producers to help them choose their finalists—the group included a bunch of white guys and one white woman.
The finalists are flown to Los Angeles to meet in person with the producers. At these meetings, they introduce Effie Brown, an experienced Hollywood producer and a black woman. She has produced seventeen feature films, including Dear White People and boy, the Irony Gods are working overtime today.
As the only person of color in the group, Effie clearly understands that any attempt at diversity will be on her shoulders. She recalls growing up in the 1970s where most of the time when she saw black people in films, they were playing gangsters, criminals and prostitutes. She also explains that she is passionate about making films where marginalized people are recognized.
You would have to buy a Brooklyn Bridge-sized benefit of the doubt to just turn around and give them in order to believe this sequence was included in the episode to show the transparencies of inherent bias in Hollywood. No, I don’t believe that either. Come on, Matt. This is embarrassing.