Viggo Mortensen, ‘Captain Fantastic’ star, ‘very sorry’ for saying N-word on L.A. panel
Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen apologized Thursday after he said the N-word during a panel discussion about his new movie “Green Book.”
Mr. Mortensen used the racial slur while speaking about racial progress in America during a QA with co-star Mahershala Ali and director Peter Farrelly at the Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles.
“For instance, no one says n anymore,” Mr. Mortensen said, using the N-word in full, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Dick Schulz, an audience member who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, said Mr. Mortensen’s remark, which was part of a larger point about changing racial attitudes, made the room “immediately tense up.”
“And the craziest thing was they had just talked about body language, so I felt like everyone was really attuned to body language, and everyone’s body language on the panel immediately tensed up,” he said.
Mr. Schulz said a woman shouted back at the actor, ” ‘Don’t say that,’ immediately after he said it.”
Mr. Mortensen, who has received two best actor Oscar nominations for his roles in “Eastern Promises” and “Captain Fantastic,” apologized for using the word and promised to never “utter it again.”
“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,” he said in a statement. “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.”