Matt Damon is being slammed for advocating merit above diversity in a conversational snippet from the 9.13 debut episode of HBO’s back-from-hiatus Project Greenlight. It happened duing a polite dispute with producer Effie Brown (Dear White People). Yesterday Jezebel‘s Kara Brown derided Damon for whitesplaining, but what did Damon actually say? Simply that quality could be compromised if there’s an over-emphasis on hiring diverse filmmakers, and that “merit” is the only thing that should matter at the end of the day, leaving “all other factors out if it.” Btu he expressed it a little too bluntly when he said that “when we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show.” In response to which Brown said “whoa!”

Brown: “Obviously [Damon’s view] is correct because we all know the only reason Hollywood is dominated by white men is because white men are the only creative people on Earth who know how to make films real, real good.”

However, she notes, “As a producer of Project Greenlight, Damon must have approved of the inclusion of this exchange. I’d like to think that he decided to include it because showing himself being so incredibly wrong could be a lesson for other filmmakers. But the cynical side of me thinks it was included because he felt he had made his point well and wanted the world to hear it.”