Tristram Shapeero Apologises For Viral Video 'Mocking' Lukas Gage's Apartment
The British director of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Brooklyn Nine Nine could be heard to comment on Gage's apartment during the video - released by Gage - in which Shapeero seems to have thought he was on mute.
He said: "These poor people living in these tiny apartments...
"I'm looking at his background and he's got his TV."
Shapeero then stopped talking immediately when Gage responded: "Ooh...yeah unmuted. I know it's a s***y apartment but that's why give me this job and I'll get a better one."
After an awkward silence that must have lasted an age, Shapeero said that he was 'mortified' and added: "I am so, so sorry, Lukas."
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Now, in an open letter to Deadline, Shapeero has written: "Despite what is probably wise advice: to say the least possible and let this pass, I have decided to come forward, take responsibility, make the apology Mr Gage deserves, and offer some background for my unacceptable and insensitive remarks,
He continued: "First and foremost I offer Mr. Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words, my unprofessional behavior during the audition and for not giving him the focus and attention he deserved. My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast. Lukas deserved better.
"This Zoom audition took place in August, after four months of lockdown. A number of my co-workers were also on the auditions which happened over several days. It was emotional to see actors work so hard to win the few parts available and we were deeply moved by the passion of these young people under the extraordinary circumstances."
Shapeero added: "I was using the word 'poor' in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment. My words were being spoken from a genuine place of appreciation for what the actors were having to endure, stuck in confined spaces, finding it within themselves to give a role-winning performance under these conditions.
"As I say on the video, I'm mortified about what happened. While I can't put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, I move forward from this incident a more empathetic man; a more focused director and I promise, an even better partner to actors from the audition process to the final cut."
After the original video was shared, Gage received support from prominent figures in US entertainment such as Seth MacFarlane, Judd Apatow, and Billy Eichner.
Featured Image Credit: Lukas Gage/Instagram
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