HBO has posted the first episode of Project Greenlight online on Facebook and YouTube, with both feeds remaining active until Oct. 9. The docuseries, exec produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and which has returned after a decade-long hiatus, gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to make a film through the eyes of a first-time director chosen from a sea of thousands of submissions.
Of course, the move to post the episode online comes after Damon’s comments on diversity in the episode, which aired Sept. 13, led to a wave of criticism. The scene in question involved Damon and Affleck asking a group of executives and producers for help in choosing a winner from the 13 finalists they’ve gathered. When producer Effie Brown, who worked on the 2014 indie Dear White People, pointed out that she preferred the most diverse finalists because they would bring sensitivity to a film that included a black prostitute character, she asked the panelists to consider race when they make their choice. Damon, however, interrupted Brown and said, “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”
The clip ended up making the rounds on Twitter, and the criticism reached Damon, who apologized for the comment in a statement. “I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies,” he said. “I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.”
That “ongoing conversation” can continue with the first episode hitting the web, and which can be viewed above on YouTube until Oct. 9. Project Greenlight airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
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