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'I'm terribly sorry': Seth Rogen apologizes for use of blackface on set of 'Good Boys'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Seth Rogen is speaking out about a blackface controversy on the set of Good Boys.

Photos taken during filming of the movie, which is produced by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, showed a stand-in for child actor Keith L. Williams wearing dark makeup on his face and an Afro wig to more closely resemble the star. While the stand-in was also African-American, his lighter skin was apparently darkened to appear more like the shade of 11-year-old Williams’s skin.

Seth Rogen, pictured in June, is speaking out about the use of blackface on the set of his upcoming film Good Boys. (Photo: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

While sources close to the production company, Good Universe, initially told TMZ it’s “not uncommon for lighting purposes to match actors’ skin tones,” Rogen apologized on Thursday and said it will never happen again. “I should start by saying this shouldn’t have happened, and I’m terribly sorry it did,” Rogen told IndieWire. “I won’t give excuses for why it happened. I’ll just say that as soon [as] I was made aware of it, I ensured we put an end to it — and I give my word that on any project my team and I are involved in, we will take every precaution to make sure something similar does not take place again.”

He ended by saying, “I’m engaging in conversations to make sure I find the best way to do that. It’s on me to be proactive. Reacting isn’t enough.”

Keith L. Williams, left, and his stand-in on the set of Good Boys. (Photo: Getty Images/TMZ)

IndieWire also spoke with several cinematographers and one director of photography about the claim that the practice was “not uncommon” for lighting purposes, but it was told that just wasn’t true. One person, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “I’ve seen wigs used and powder to take down shine, but maybe not as extreme as what is being suggested here. I personally would never ask for someone to be made up in a darker tone.”

Good Boys is about a group of young kids who go on an adventure in the San Fernando Valley in California to fix a broken toy before their parents get home. Jacob Tremblay also stars, and it’s the feature directional debut for Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, who are known for being writers of The Office. It’s set to be released in 2019.

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Universal and Good Universe production for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

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