Director who dissed Euphoria actor Lukas Gage in Zoom call apologizes: 'Lukas deserved better'
"Despite what is probably wise advice: to say the least possible and let this pass, I have decided to come forward, take responsibility, make the apology Mr. Gage deserves, and offer some background for my unacceptable and insensitive remarks," he wrote in a statement posted Monday night on Deadline.
"First and foremost I offer Mr. Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words, my unprofessional behavior during the audition, and for not giving him the focus and attention he deserved. My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast. Lukas deserved better.
"I was using the word ‘poor’ in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment. My words were being spoken from a genuine place of appreciation for what the actors were having to endure, stuck in confined spaces, finding it within themselves to give a role-winning performance under these conditions.
"As I say on the video, I’m mortified about what happened. While I can’t put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, I move forward from this incident a more empathetic man; a more focused director and I promise, an even better partner to actors from the audition process to the final cut," he wrote.
Read Shapeero's full apology here.
Per a TMZ video, Tristram Shapeero seemingly confirmed he was the one who disparaged Gage's apartment during the performer's Zoom audition.
On Friday, Gage posted the video, in which an unseen person — not realizing they were unmuted — could be heard saying, "These poor people live in these tiny apartments like I'm looking at his background and he's got his TV."
"Psa if youre a s--- talking director make sure to mute ur s--- on zoom [meetings]," the actor tweeted.
When approached by a paparazzo, Shapeero, who's helmed episodes of Community, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Never Have I Ever, said he would be issuing a statement on the matter.
“I don’t have any apology because I didn’t say anything bad, and you have to look up the definition... it was three months ago," he said. "Actually, I’m not gonna say anything right now, because we’re talking to some PR people, but there will be a statement I'm sure at some point, but I'm not confirming."
He continued to defend himself, adding, "The context of which it was said and the context of the meanings of the words need to be properly evaluated — that's all I'm going to say."
Representatives for Shapeero did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Despite not apologizing, the director sang a different tune during the call.
After Gage pointed out that Shapeero wasn't muted and that he should "give me this job so I can get a better [apartment]," the director quickly apologized, saying he was "so, so sorry" and "mortified" by his comment.
The video has since caught the attention of other Hollywood stars, who showed their support for Gage and his apartment. Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn tweeted, "That is NOT a s----y apartment. Not that it should matter for the audition anyway. Sorry, you had to take that in — before an audition, no less."
Thus far, Gage has not confirmed if Shapeero was indeed the offending director or revealed the project he was auditioning for. According to reports, Shapeero has been tapped to direct the pilot for the comedy Pivoting starring Ginnifer Goodwin.