Actor Viggo Mortensen put his foot in his mouth while at a panel discussion for his new film “Green Book” which is getting accolades on the late season award circuit. In the movie, Mortensen plays a no-frills New York bouncer who takes a job as a driver for an African-American classical pianist (played by Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) as he tours through the deep South in the 1960s.
Well, unfortunately, Mr. Mortensen must have thought he was still in character during this promotional panel because he happened to drop the “N” word while discussing the film. Of course, this went over like a lead balloon and was roundly condemned. Mortensen has since apologized for using the word:
“In making the point that many people casually used the ‘N’ word at the time in which the movie’s story takes place, in 1962, I used the full word,” Mortensen said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
He also promised never to say it again.
It will be interesting to see if the gaffe will have any affect on ticket sales when “Green Book” opens in limited released next week on November 16th.