Australian comedian Josh Thomas has apologised for his comments on diverse actors that resurfaced this week from a 2016 panel discussion, saying: "I'm super ashamed of the comments I made and I would like to apologise."
A video of the panel discussion on writers' rooms at the Sydney Opera House was shared on Twitter by actor, writer and activist Moreblessing Maturure on Sunday.
In the course of the discussion, Thomas says to the other panellists that included Dan Harmon, Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor, that: "Finding an experienced actor that’s not white is really hard.
"You find yourself in a situation where you want to be more diverse, but this person doesn’t have much experience as this person, and then it’s hard to know what to do, because you don’t want to be favouring people when they’re not going to do a good job."
The reaction to the video on social media was swift, with many commentaters calling out Thomas, the creator of Please Like Me, for racial insensitivity.
Thomas said in his apology: “There is a clip circulating on Twitter of me on a panel a few years ago talking about diversity casting, and in it I am being a really dumb, illogical, insensitive idiot and it’s gross. I am super ashamed of the comments I made, and would like to apologise,” he wrote.
“Authentic diversity in casting (and behind the scenes) is something that is really important to me, and that has been important to me for a long time."
Some appreciated Thomas's apology but as one user mentioned: "We don't need your shame anymore though. We need your commitment and authenticity. Please do the work and remember to be kind to yourself."