Mahershala Ali has responded to “Green Book” actor Viggo Mortensen's usage of the N-bomb on at a screening of their film.
He told Variety:
“However well-intended or intellectual the conversation may have been, it wasn’t appropriate for Viggo to say the n-word. He has made it clear to me that he’s aware of this, and apologized profusely immediately following the Q&A with Elvis Mitchell. Knowing his intention was to express that removing the n-word from your vocabulary doesn’t necessarily disqualify a person as a racist or participating in actions or thoughts that are bigoted, I can accept and embrace his apology," the Moonlight actor stated.
He continued, “An excellent and poignant thought was unfortunately overshadowed by voicing the word in its fullness. Which for me, is always hurtful. The use of the word within the black community has long been debated, and its usage should continue to be examined within the black community.
“The use of the word by those who aren’t black, is not up for debate. The history of discrimination, slavery, pain, oppression and violence that the word has come to symbolize only causes harm to members of the black community and therefore needs to be left in the past,' he added.
Mortensen used the racial slur last week at the ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood. At the time, he speaking about cyclical and generational use of hate speech and used the N-word as an example of speech that’s no longer common in conversation.
He then released a public apology. “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. 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.”
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