In the film, The Lord of the Rings star plays a bouncer hired by famed African-American pianist Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, to serve as his driver and security during a 1960s tour of the American South.
Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen apologized for using the N-word during a panel discussion Wednesday following the screening of his new film "Green Book". "He started talking about how, in this climate, the world today, progress isn't going to happen quickly, it's going to happen slowly, but the movie is going to mean a lot for a long time because we're constantly coming up against racism and how racism is nearly human nature and these things come in waves". "I was hearing everybody passing by me going up the stairs going, 'That was crazy!'"
"Last night I participated in a Q&A session moderated by Elvis Mitchell following a screening of Green Book in Los Angeles", Mortensen said Thursday in a statement obtained by EW. Despite the context, the tone of the room is said to have shifted dramatically.
"He said something like I hate the n-word, we all know what it is just say - and said it" Twitter user Kamille Virginia wrote.
He spoke the word while he was discussing interracial progress in America, though he has since offered an apology and vowed to never "utter it again". 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 to THR.
'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.
He added that he took on the role with the goal of raising racial awareness.
'One of the reasons I accepted the challenge of working on Peter Farrelly's movie Green Book was to expose ignorance and prejudice in the hope that our movie's story might help in some way to change people's views and feelings regarding racial issues.
'It is a attractive, profound movie story that I am very proud to be a part of'.
Johnathan Friedland was dismissed from the company in June for "unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity", according to Netflix.