All Articles Tagged "Matt Damon"

Constance Wu Reads “Great Wall” Film to Filth for Whitewashing

July 31st, 2016 - By Toya Sharee
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great wall


You may have caught Constance Wu playing mother and wife Jessica Huang on ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat”. In character, Wu is quick to hit her kids with some good old-fashioned parenting in the form of sharp-witted humor, and recently it appears that Wu is no shrinking violet in real life either.

In a letter posted to her Twitter account on Friday, Wu expressed her deep criticism for Matt Damon’s “The Great Wall” which hits theaters early next year. In the sci-fi/fantasy film, Damon plays a warrior defending the historical landmark against ancient Chinese monsters. Wu was quick to explain that she’s not here for the film nor Hollywood’s repeated attempts to whitewash history and heroism.

“We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a (sic) only white man can save the world. It’s not based in actual fact. Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.”

The Taiwanese-American actress also expressed that she’s sick of hearing the same excuses for why Hollywood fails to cast actors of color, specifically in period and historical pieces that tell the stories of times that they in fact were significantly apart of:

“Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & ‘but it’s really hard to finance’ are no longer excuses for racism?”

She also added that some things are more important than how much money opening weekend brings in off of some A-list actor’s name:

“If nothing else, you’d get some mad respect (which is WAY more valuable than money).”

Wu made it clear that she wasn’t out to place blame on Damon or the Chinese financiers of the movie, but simply wanted her voice to be heard and to spread awareness about this insensitive practice. It doesn’t help that the six writers credited for the film are all white men.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Hollywood has been called out for its tone deafness. Last year, Lionsgate apologized for the lack of diversity in its casting for Gods of Egypt, a movie that despite taking place in Egypt stars only white actors.

I don’t know if the reasoning behind Hollywood’s whitewashing of history is laziness or racism or a little bit of both. I’m sure studios know that having Matt Damon’s face on a movie poster is sure to attract a certain audience that will spend money in the theater to see him as opposed to taking a chance on a lesser known actor of color who may be a better fit for the role. Regardless, Hollywood’s tone-deafness is offensive and ignorant despite the reasoning and I’m happy actresses like Wu are calling Hollywood out.

You can read Wu’s letter in its entirety below:

What Does White Hollywood Have To Say About Diversity?

January 26th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Jada Pinkett Smith at Golden Globes


Ever since Jada Pinkett Smith announced to the world that she (and later her hubby) would not be making an appearance at this year’s Academy Awards, the mainstream media has been scrambling to find out what the rest of Hollywood thinks about it.

And while most are keeping tally on how many Black stars will or will not attend the event, the most interesting responses to #OscarsSoWhite have come by way of White Hollywood.

So in the interest of keeping tabs on them (so we know whose films to support and not support in the future) as they do on us, I have decided to create a list.

I know: It sounds like a Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel sketch. And while I can’t guarantee that it will be as funny as a Kimmel sketch, let’s not act like Kimmel is really that funny to begin with…

“He’s Full Of S**t”: Are We Just Not Here For Celebrity Mistakes?

October 1st, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Matt Michael B. Jordan

Being a celebrity in 2015 is a lot different than it was 20 years ago. Heck, even 10 years ago. Today, the Internet and social media play a significant role in growing, maintaining or burning to the ground a public figure’s fanbase. With so much personal information accessible and often provided to the public, a celebrity has to be careful with their words. Even when they mean no harm, they can inadvertently share an opinion that might be unpopular or even downright ugly.

In the last few years, we’ve all become familiar with the cycle. In an interview/tweet/rant, a notable figure either talks out of turn, shares an unpopular opinion, or speaks before thinking. Hours later, an apology will be issued on their behalf after being side-eyed at best, or dragged at the worst, by the public. This often happens, leaving people shocked, appalled and unforgiving when someone on TV, radio, or film puts their foot in their mouths. At this point, it’s assumed that these filthy rich folks know better, so they should do better.

Recently, we’ve seen the public turn on Matt Damon, who has enraged fans twice in the last month. First, when he tried to explain diversity to Effie Brown, a successful Black producer, and just last week when he suggested that gay actors would have more success if they stayed in the closet. People were pissed. After the diversity comments, Damon issued this apology:

“I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies. 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.

My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of ‘Project Greenlight’ which did not make the show. 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.”

After his apology, people continued to rage because he apologized for offending “some,” rather than for what he said. Would those same individuals have been pleased if he had issued this apology?

“I’m so sorry for the comments I have made. I believe in diversity and am committed to hiring diverse people in casting as well as on the crew.”

Nope. He would have been accused of just saying any ol’ thing to get us off his back and into the theater to see The Martian. He spoke what he felt to be the truth. And while he was hoping that people would respect the fact that he actually stood by his comments instead of running away from them as many do, Damon was further reprimanded.

I’m not sure there’s a way to please everyone once your words have sparked outrage. At this point, is there anything someone in the limelight can say to make amends to the public after they’ve said something regrettable? Is there a way to get that bad taste out of your mouth?

It doesn’t seem like it. Just ask Michael B. Jordan, who people laid into after comments he made in a recent interview with GQ.

“I told my team after I finished ‘Chronicle’ that I only want to go out for roles that were written for White characters. Me playing the role will make it what it is.”

In essence, the actor, who became widely known for portraying Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, is not trying to play Black characters. This resonated poorly with the public, who took it as Jordan turning his back on his community.

He then went on to comment on his Black fans and their anger with him over unfounded rumors that he was dating Kendall Jenner.

“They see White and Black. I don’t. Kendall’s a friend of mine, you know. I don’t know her, like, that well, but I know her enough. People’s perspective on that is what it is. I don’t f**king know. I don’t live my life to make other people happy. It’s so weird, though, right? A lot of Black fans were feeling like, ‘Oh, my God, he should have been with a Black woman’ and that whole thing. I get it, but on the other hand it’s, like, relax. You know—it’s 2015. It’s okay! People can like one another, not necessarily from the same history or culture or whatever the f**k it is. It’s just the new world, you know what I mean?”

Claiming color blindness is never going to sit well with people.

Later in the interview, Jordan went on to dig a bigger hole for himself, referring to women as “females” whom he has been emotionally unavailable for. Needless to say, when this trinity of questionable statements hit the web, Black Twitter joined together to rip him a new one. In no time flat, Jordan issued the most eloquent apology he could.

When it reached the masses, many rejected it, stating that it was written by his PR team and was simply damage control in preparation for the press run for his new movie, Creed.  Jordan hasn’t said anything about the matter since, and that’s probably because he knows there’s no point. Especially when responses to his apology drew comments like “He’s full of sh*t. He threw black woman under the bus,” and “The damage is done. Once you reveal yourself to be “lost” you’re thrown in the bushes by black women (and rightly so).” People have made up their minds. They’re upset with him, and there’s nothing he can do about it at this point.

People say stupid things, articles get edited for shock value, words get taken out of context–these things happen. We are in an outrage culture, and some of the outrage is justified. But at times, I think we take glee in dragging people for their opinions, and we put them on public trial for their word crimes. Jordan offered a gracious and seemingly genuine apology. He acknowledged the vitriol behind his statements, apologized to his fanbase, and stated his intentions to do better because he understands that words have power.

To me, his apology was top notch and it allows me to move on from putting him in the box of celebs who I don’t see it for anymore. For now, it’s water under the bridge. And while I didn’t agree with Damon’s comments either, his apology was enough for me to lower my raised eyebrow. To be rid of rage.

They’re both human.

Despite the criticism we throw their way, celebrities are complex people too. They say regrettable things at times. They may even say vicious things that they truly believe in. Just like the rest of us. We will always be let down when we put them on a pedestal and expect flawlessness that they can never deliver. So while their honesty can be jarring at times, it’s something I would prefer.

Matt Damon Addresses His Diversity Comments, Makes A Bad Situation Worse

September 17th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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matt damon feat

It was only a matter of time before Matt Damon addressed the reason his name is trending all over the internet. Earlier this week, we reported that Damon, a White man, appeared like an asshole when he interrupted filmmaker Effie Brown, a Black woman, to explain diversity to her and how and when it should be used in the industry.

Later he made a bad situation worse by attempting to explain away his original misstep.

“I’m glad Effie flagged the issue of diversity for all of us, because film-making should throw a broader net and it’s high time for that to change. But ultimately, if you suddenly change the rules of this competition at the 11th hour, it just seems like you would undermine what the competition was supposed to be about, which is about giving somebody this job based entirely on merit, and leaving all other factors out of it. It’s just strictly a film-making competition. I think the whole point of this thing is that you go for the best director, period.”


Anyway, since that statement obviously didn’t make anything better he issued another one that still didn’t take responsibility.

“I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse film-makers making movies. 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 film-making is a viable form of creative expression for them too. My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of Project Greenlight, which did not make the show. 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.”


This story is largely being reported as Damon apologizing for his comments, specifically those directed to Brown. But this is not an apology. He apologizes for offending but it’s clear he still doesn’t seem to have a problem with what he said. And he still doesn’t see how his actions are just continuing  and contributing to a very problematic, racist and discriminatory system in Hollywood as well in society at large

When you have the opportunity to change the rules of the game and you don’t do it just because this is the way it’s always been done, you’re just contributing to the problem you say you want to fix.

What Happens When Matt Damon Tries To Explain Diversity To A Black Woman?

September 14th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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matt damon

Source: HBO

In my mind I categorize White people in two ways. Woke White folks, the ones who have a grasp, if not a complete understanding, of the type of oppression people of color, particularly Black people, experience in this country and those who just don’t get it.

Before today, I thought Matt Damon was one of the ones who got it. I don’t know why I made this assumption but I did.

And today, I relearned the lesson that assumptions make an ass out of you and me.

Yesterday, HBO kicked off the fourth season of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s passion project “Project Greenlight.” In this reality series, the two veteran actors offer the opportunity for up and coming filmmakers to direct and produce new projects. But it’s not just Affleck and Damon. They utilize the help of a team of producers. This Sunday it was several White men, one White woman and Effie Brown.

Brown is an experienced filmmaker who has produced more than seventeen feature films, including Dear White People.

The group met to discuss candidates for Not Another Pretty Woman, a comedy described as a “girl leaves boy at the altar, boy falls in love with a Black prostitute” story.

When discussing the project, Brown suggests that it would be wise to consider directors from a diverse background, particularly since the only person of color in the film is a prostitute. And to make matters worse, she’s slapped by a White pimp. She wanted to insure that the character wasn’t racist, sexist or problematic.

But Damon didn’t think that was necessary.

In a room full of White people, and mostly men, Damon interrupts Brown to explain diversity to her. And not only explain it, explain the confines in which it should happen.

“When we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show.”

As if to say, there was no need to hire diverse filmmakers for “Project Greenlight” it only matters that people of color are represented on screen.


Brown had the perfect response, “Wow. Ok.”

If there were people of color writing the screenplays, producing films and sitting in the director’s chair maybe the only Black person in the piece wouldn’t be a prostitute abused by a White man in the first place. It’s a cyclical relationship.

I’m honestly shocked.

But maybe I shouldn’t be. When you’re a White man who’s been winning in the industry, with your White friends, who’ve also been winning, maybe it is a stretch for you to see outside of your own experiences and open doors for people of color and different lifestyles.


Thankfully, folks on Twitter were quick to let Damon know he was living foul.

Check out a brief clip from the interaction below.

15 Of The Greatest Basketball Movies Ever Made

April 29th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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The NBA playoff season is heating up with the Miami Heat looking to three-peat while fighting off championship contenders such as the Oklahoma City Thunders, Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets. In honor of this exciting time of year, we take a look at some of our favorite basketball movies.

"He Got Game pf"

He Got Game

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington have collaborated on several films together including his 1997 film He Got Game. Washington played Jake Shuttleworth, a prison inmate and the father of the country’s top high school basketball star who was granted a one-week parole release to convince his son to play for the governor’s alma mater. Real life NBA player Ray Allen made his debut into film as the star player Jesus Shuttleworth but he wasn’t the only hoops star cast in the movie. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Rick Fox, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Bill Walton also appeared in the film.

It Ain’t None Of Your Friends’ Business… Celebrity Couples Who Are Notoriously Private

March 10th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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In this day and age where celebs and everyday folks take to their social media pages to share every little detail of their lives, there are still some stars who like to keep their private lives very private.

Super Private Celebrity Couples


Cassie and Diddy

Rumor had it Diddy and Cassie were dating well before they were ever photographed together. Caught up in a love triangle with Cassie and his children’s mother Kim Porter, Diddy snuck around with the “Me & U” singer showing up at the same events but making sure to never arrive or leave together. Recently the two have been more open about their relationship in public and on social media. Diddy has posted photos professing his love for Cassie and last month sparked rumors when he put up a picture of an engagement ring with the caption, “Baby do you like it? I just want to get you wat you Like!” he added. “I just wanna Mk you smile 🙂 #takeDat!”

No Scandal Here: Celebrity Men Who Appear To Be Faithful

January 8th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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Lately there’s been a lot of attention cast on the celebrity men who dip out their spouses or girlfriends for a little loving on the side but there’s little mention of the men who stay faithful – or at least appear to be… Here’s our list of 15 faithful celebrity men who we never hear cheating rumors about.

Faithful Celebrity Men


Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th U.S. president on January 20, 2009 but long before he was known as the first Black leader of the Free World, he was a husband to wife Michelle. The two met when Michelle was assigned to mentor a young Barack, who was a summer associate. Their first date was a trip to the theater to catch Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and ever since the couple wed in October of ’92, Barack has done the right thing by his wife. They have two daughters together and while he has probably the most stressful job in America, the President and his First Lady appear to be just as in love living in the White House as the day they got married.

You Made How Much?! Matt Damon Earned $150K Per Second For A Coffee Ad

November 14th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Matt Damon is in demand. So much so that he made $3 million — $150,000 per second — to appear in this 15-second clip promoting Nespresso coffee. Talk about a passive income stream!

According sources who spoke with the New York Post, Damon has turned down most of the offers he’s gotten for ad sponsorships, but in this case, he took the cash and the opportunity to work with his old pal George Clooney. Clooney has been repping for Nespresso overseas since 2006.

And note: He says two words and then does a fake chuckle. That’s the entirety of the role.

Even better: This ad is a sequel! The little prank at the end is the same one in the original ad. (Available below.)

We all know that celebs make a lot of money sometimes for doing things that don’t require that much effort. And you’ll find no bigger Damon fan than the MN Biz editor. But this is crazy.

[h/t AdWeek]

Could’ve Won An Oscar: Actors Who Passed Up Famous Movie Roles

June 20th, 2013 - By Iva Anthony
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Sometimes we can’t fathom another actor or actress starring in one of our favorite movies but believe it or not, switches are made behind the scenes all the time and stars miss out on some potentially big opportunities. Here’s a list of 15 actors who passed up roles of a lifetime.

"Will Smith pf"


Will Smith- The Matrix

Will Smith has played a cowboy in a western, a captain in the Marine Corp fighting aliens and an agent assigned to track down extraterrestrial alien refugees but do you think he could’ve pulled off the role of a computer programmer in the action sci-fi thriller The Matrix? Well, neither did he. The action mega star admitted he passed up the role of Neo, which went to Keanu Reeves, because he wasn’t ready as an actor. “You know, The Matrix is a difficult concept to pitch. In the pitch, I just didn’t see it. I watched Keanu’s performance – and very rarely do I say this – but I would have messed it up. I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix,” said Smith. “At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be. Whereas Keanu was smart enough to just let it be. Let the movie and the director tell the story, and don’t try and perform every moment.”