Viggo Mortensen apologizes for using N-word while promoting 'Green Book'

Brunilde Fioravanti
Novembre 10, 2018

Mr. Mortensen used the racial slur while speaking about racial progress in America during a Q&A with co-star Mahershala Ali and director Peter Farrelly at the Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Dick Schulz, a Film Independent member and freelance director, said he was present at the screening in a tweet and that the "oxygen immediately left the room" after Mortensen's comment.

"It was all anyone was talking about when we left the theater", Schulz said while describing the audience's reaction to Mortensen's use of the word. "He went on for I don't know how long it was - it felt like an eternity after that, because everyone was waiting for the answer to end, but he was trying to steer the ship back to where he was trying to go". "You can not say that!'" Schulz told THR. "And it's sad because the movie is great".

The 60-year-old explained his goal behind using the term and said: 'Although my intention was to speak strongly against racism, I have no right to even imagine the hurt that is caused by hearing that word in any context, especially from a white man.

The movie title references "The Negro Motorist Green Book", which served as a travel guide for African-Americans traveling in the South during segregation by listing friendly and whites-only hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

'I do not use the word in private or in public.

"For instance, no one says n- anymore", Mr. Mortensen said, using the N-word in full, according to The Hollywood Reporter. I am very sorry that I did use the full word last night, and will not utter it again, ' he added.

"Viggo just started talking, and it got away from him quickly", Schulz said.

He continued: 'One of the reasons I accepted the challenge of working on Peter Farrelly's movie Green Book was to expose ignorance and prejudice, in the hope that our movie's story might help in some way to change people's views and feelings regarding racial issues.

"Green Book" centers on a tour of the Deep South in the 1960s by Jamaican-American pianist Don Shirley (portrayed by Ali) and a bouncer serving as security (played by Mortensen). It is a handsome, profound movie story that I am very proud to be a part of, ' he said.

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