Matt Damon Says Clickbait a Factor in Great Wall Whitewashing Outrage
Matt Damon has received some backlash over his casting in the new film the Great Wall, as the project is being accused of whitewashing for making a white actor the lead in a movie set in China.
In a new interview with the Associated Press, Damon responded to critics, partially putting the blame for all the outrage on the nature of clickbait style news. The actor said that some issues turn into sensationalized stories only because “people click on it,” as opposed to the old style of news where information would be more heavily “vetted” before accusations were made.
“Eventually you stop clicking on some of those more outrageous things because you just realize there is nothing to the story when you get to it,” Damon said.
The star told the AP that he “didn’t take a role away from a Chinese actor,” as the character was never written with one in mind. Damon believes that the controversy will blow over once audiences realize that it’s a “monster movie” and his part “wasn’t altered” because of his casting.
Damon doesn’t think his situation is an example of whitewashing, which he described using the film Geronimo as an example, where white actor Chuck Connors played an Apache chief.
“That whole idea of whitewashing, I take that very seriously,” Damon said.
This isn’t the actor’s first brush with controversy over the issue of race.
Damon was heavily criticized earlier this year after his “mansplaining” incident on his HBO reality series Project Greenlight. He received a ton of flak for cutting off an African American female producer during a discussion on the show about diversity behind the camera, and proceeded to explain the issue away. Damon later apologized for what happened.