The director at the center of a viral video has now identified himself and apologized publicly.
Late last week, we shared with you the story of Euphoria actor Lukas Gage (who’s known for playing several gay roles like his parts in Love, Victor and Midnight Kiss), posting a video on Twitter. In the video, we see Gage standing in front of his camera inside his home. We then hear a director insulting Gage’s apartment while seemingly believing that he’s muted. He was not.
“These poor people live in these tiny apartments. I’m looking at his background and he’s got his TV,” the director is heard saying.
Gage then respectfully stood up for himself by saying, “I know it’s a sh*tty apartment, that’s why give me this job so I can get a better one.”
psa if youre a shit talking director make sure to mute ur shit on zoom mtgings pic.twitter.com/PTgMZcRhEw
— lukas gage (@lukasgage) November 20, 2020
After the video went viral on Twitter, many social media users and news sources wondered who was the director on the Zoom call’s other end. To credit Lukas Gage, the actor never specified the director’s identity. Though, the internet never rests. And now, we have a name.
As the New York Post reports, the director at the heart of this controversy is Tristram Shapeero. Shapeero is a successful TV director who worked on a series of shows like Parks & Recreation, The Good Place, GLOW, Superstore, Community, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Veep, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and more.
Director Tristram Shapeero admits he WAS "unmuted" voice who insulted star’s flat in Zoom audition https://t.co/sLtUavHW44
— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) November 24, 2020
The thing is, we don’t just have a name but we also have an official statement. According to Deadline, Shapeero released a statement apologizing for his words and for the moment.
“First and foremost I offer Mr. Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words,” he wrote. “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.”
Shapeero then 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.”
He concluded with, “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.”
Read his full apology here.