Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen, best-known for his role as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, has apologized for his use of the N-Word at a screening for his new Green Book film.
Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly, centers on the real-life friendship between Italian-American bouncers Tony Lip (Mortensen) and African-American classical musician Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), and is set during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, he Lip chauffeur's Shirley on the Deep South of the United States. Shirley faces racial discrimination in the film, with Lip often coming to his defense.
Mortensen and Ali have both been praised for their performances in the film, with many regards to be favorites to receive Oscar nominations in 2019.
At a screening on October 7th , Mortensen appeared in a Q & A alongside his co-star Ali, where he spoke about progress in Civil Rights and uses his racial slur while making his point.
In a statement delivered to IndieWire, Mortensen has apologized for his use of the N-word.
Elvis Mitchell takes a look at the 'Green Book' in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA. in 1962, I used the full word.
"Although my intention was to speak," he said, "I do not use the word in private or in public I'm sorry, I did not use the full word last night, and I do not want it again.
Peter Farrelly's movie 'Green Book' What it means to be in the hope that our movie story might help people in some way to change their minds a beautiful, profound movie story that i am very proud of.
Mahershala Ali has been responding to a statement published in Variety.
"However well-intended or intellectual the conversation may have been, it was not appropriate for Viggo to say the n-word. He has made it clear to me that he's aware of this, and he apologizes profoundly following the Q & A with Elvis Mitchell. Knowing his intention to remove that word from your vocabulary does not necessarily disqualify a person as a racist or participant in any of these.
Ali, who won Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2017 for his role in Moonlight, thus spokesman of the word in a against cultural sense.
"An excellent and poignant thought was unfortunately overshadowed by voicing the word in its fullness. Which for me, is always hurtful, "Ali said. "The use of the word within the black community has long been debated, and its usage should continue to be in the black community.
"The use of the word by those who are not black, is not up for debate. The history of discrimination, slavery, pain, oppression and violence that has come to symbolize only causes harm to members of the black community and therefore needs to be left in the past. "
Green Book will be released in UK cinemas on February 8, 2019.