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HBO’s Project Greenlight has come under fire yet again for its racial subtext in the latest episode titled “Hot Ghetto Mess,” which focuses on producer Effie Brown speaking up for diversity amongst a largely White cast.

The episode aired on Sunday, showing Brown and filmmaker Jason Mann constantly butting heads over the limited time and resources for the movie. Created by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Greenlight is a documentary in which the creators pick a filmmaker to shoot their first feature film.

In Sunday’s episode, Brown, against all odds, finds a way for Mann to shoot a car stunt scene HBO execs wanted to scale down. She also explains to Mann the problem with hiring the only Black actor in the film, The Leisure Class, as a chauffeur. Mann’s film is about a working class man’s brother marrying his way into a wealthy family.

Viewers were confused to see the episode titled “Hot Ghetto Mess,” with no indication for its reasoning – other than the episode’s focus on Brown and diversity.

HBO released a statement claiming there was an issue in editing that led to the fumble.

The Muse reports:

Though it may not be obvious, the majority of Project Greenlight titles come from a line spoken inside the episode. An earlier cut of the one that aired Sunday included another chaotic day on set resulting in the remark “this is a hot ghetto mess.” In a scramble of last minute edits and changes, however, that scene was removed. The episode was then renamed the “The Pivot” but the change was not reflected on the delivered master. It was a production mistake for which we take full responsibility. HBO is taking steps to correct the title across its platforms.

From the beginning, Brown (who has produced over ten films, including Dear White People) has been heard speaking up for women and people of color when it comes to stereotypes and Black actors in Hollywood. Previously, Greenlight took heat when Damon explained to Effie that directors didn’t need to worry about the racial makeup of a cast and instead, should only focus on the story.

In an odd and problematic twist of events, Mann’s film and ability to go around Brown to get what he wants explains her argument from the beginning of the season–people of color aren’t taken seriously in front of or behind the camera.

Check out Brown and Mann explain the latest episode and their issues below.



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