×

Director Peter Farrelly, ‘Green Book’ Team Weigh In on Viggo Mortensen’s N-Word Controversy

Green Book” director Peter Farrelly forgives Viggo Mortensen for using the N-word.

“Viggo is a great, good-hearted guy who was trying to make a nice point and it came out horribly wrong and he apologized immediately and knew what he had done,” Farrelly told Variety on Friday at the movie’s AFI Fest presented by Audi gala screening in Hollywood. “He just not that guy. He’s a beautiful human being.”

Mortensen came under fire on social media for using the N-word during a panel proceeding a Film Independent screening of “Green Book” on Wednesday when audience members began tweeting about the incident, which occurred at the ArcLight Hollywood.

In an attempt to prove that hate speech can change over time, Mortensen used the N-word as an example of language that’s no longer accepted, sources told Variety.

Mortensen released an apology late Thursday night, which co-star Mahershala Ali later accepted.

“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,” Mortensen said. “I do not use the word in private or in public. I am very sorry that I did use the full word last night, and will not utter it again.”

He added that one of the reasons he signed on to the movie “was to expose ignorance and prejudice in the hope that our movie’s story might help in some way to change peoples’ views and feelings regarding racial issues. It is a beautiful, profound movie story that I am very proud to be a part of.”

Ali told Variety at AFI Fest, “It was clear where he was going, but the use of the word was obviously surprising. I think he’s much more aware now of sort of the repercussions of that word.”

Producer Kwame Parker said Mortensen had a forgivable “slip of the tongue.”

“It’s an ugly word that I don’t think anybody should use no matter what their color is,” Parker told Variety. “He misspoke but that’s not who he is…. When we were filming he was such a lovely actor and person at his core. Forget ethnicity. At the core, he is a beautiful soul. That’s who he is…That wasn’t him. It was him trying to explain something, talk about something and it was a slip.”

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Pod Save America Hosts on Trump

    'Pod Save America' Hosts on Trump, the Democratic Primary and What's Wrong With Cable News

    Like many Democrats, Tanya Somanader was blindsided by the 2016 presidential election. A veteran of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter and digital specialist for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Somanader was gearing up for a Hillary Clinton administration. Instead, she had to grapple with the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. “A lot [...]

  • Sean Spicer Dancing With the Stars

    Sean Spicer Hopes 'Dancing With the Stars' Gig Will 'Move the Country Forward'

    In the face of a swift backlash, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he hoped his role as a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” can help “move the country forward in a positive way.” Spicer told CNN on Thursday that his “DWTS” posting was about entertainment, not politics. ABC revealed Spicer [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Cardi BSwisher Sweets Spark Award, Arrivals,

    Cardi B Talks Police Brutality, Student Debt With Bernie Sanders in Nail Salon

    Rapper Cardi B hosted Senator Bernie Sanders for a video interview at The TEN nail bar in Detroit, an appropriate venue for a musician known to sport some serious claws. Cardi and the 2020 presidential candidate discussed everything from reinstating and expanding the DACA program to fixing student debt by placing a “modest” speculation tax [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Reportedly Finds Broken Bones in Neck

    Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy results suggest that the the disgraced multimillionaire sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to The Washington Post. The report says one of the bones broken was the hyoid bone, which is near the Adam’s apple in men. Although hyoid breaks have been known to occur during a hanging, experts told [...]

  • Asap Rocky1 Oak : Gotha Takeover

    A$AP Rocky: A Swedish Take on the Case That Riveted the Country

    With everyone from President Donald Trump to the Rev. Al Sharpton weighing in on rapper A$AP Rocky’s detention in Stockholm after his involvement in a street brawl there, this peculiar saga seemed tailor-made for summer’s silly season. But in Sweden it has also sparked debate about some serious issues – such as the nature of [...]

  • United States Attorney for the Southern

    Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Results 'Pending Further Information' Following Examination

    Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy results are “pending further information,” according to a statement from the New York City Medical Examiner’s office. “Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein. The ME’s determination is pending further information at this time,” chief medical examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in the statement. Sampson also confirmed the presence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content