Actor Viggo Mortensen, finest identified for his function in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, apologized Thursday for utilizing the n-word throughout a panel for his upcoming movie, Inexperienced E-book.
In an announcement to BuzzFeed Information, Mortensen mentioned, “Though my intention was to talk strongly in opposition to racism, I’ve no proper to even think about the harm that’s brought on by listening to that phrase in any context, particularly from a white man.”
“I don’t use the phrase in non-public or in public. I’m very sorry that I did use the complete phrase final evening, and won’t utter it once more,” he continued.
On Wednesday evening, Mortensen was seated beside his black Inexperienced E-book costar, the Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali, on the ArcLight movie show in Los Angeles when he uttered the phrase.
“Folks don’t say ‘nigger’ anymore,” Mortensen mentioned on the Q&A, which instantly alarmed individuals on the occasion.
The actor later mentioned he was making an attempt to make “the purpose that many individuals casually used the n-word on the time during which the film story takes place.”
Within the movie, Mortensen performs the function of Tony Lip, an Italian American who works as a bouncer on the Copacabana nightclub within the ’60s.
His character within the film makes use of prejudiced phrases to consult with black individuals, together with Italian slang phrases like “eggplant.” Later, Mortensen’s character turns into a chauffeur to Ali’s Don Shirley, a musician he bonds with whereas navigating their interracial friendship within the Deep South.
After he mentioned the phrase, shocked attendees tweeted concerning the incident. “The oxygen instantly left the room,” one particular person mentioned.
One other mentioned it was “probably the most weird and uncomfortable second [they’ve] ever witnessed at a Q&A.”
In his apologetic assertion, Mortensen mentioned that he accepted the problem to work on Inexperienced E-book “to reveal ignorance and prejudice within the hope that our film story would possibly assist ultimately to vary peoples’ views and emotions concerning racial points.”
“It’s a lovely, profound film story that I’m very proud to be part of,” he mentioned.
Representatives for Common Footage, the movie’s distributor, didn’t instantly reply to BuzzFeed Information’ request for remark.
Adam B. Fluctuate contributed reporting.