Matt Damon has apologized for comments regarding diversity in filmmaking that sparked widespread backlash, after a portion of a conversation from HBO’s Project Greenlight circulated online.

In the segment, Damon was shown shutting down African-American producer Effie Brown (Dear White People) who made a case that a script dealing with sensitive subjects like prostitution should have a diverse directing team behind it. Damon responded that diversity should be handled in “the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”

In a statement, Damon said he believes “deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies.” His comments, he said, were part of a broader conversation that did not make the show. He also apologized for any offense caused, but is happy that it started a conversation.

Project Greenlight, which also features star and Damon pal Ben Affleck, has returned to air after a decade-long hiatus.