Viggo Mortensen is apologizing after dropping the n-word during a Q&A panel for his upcoming film Green Book. The film is about an interracial friendship in the 60's, and Mortensen stars alongside Mahershala Ali. The two were together during the panel, and Mortensen used the derogatory term while discussing the differences between racism in the 60's and now. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mortensen said, “For instance, no one says n— anymore,” to illustrate that the term is not used as loosely as it was fifty years ago. After the moment earned Mortensen a mountain of backlash online, he released a statement to THR apologizing for his actions. 

"In making the point that many people casually used the ‘N’ word at the time in which the movie’s story takes place, in 1962, I used the full word," Mortensen said. "Although my intention was to speak strongly against racism, I have no right to even imagine the hurt that is caused by hearing that word in any context, especially from a white man. I do not use the word in private or in public. I am very sorry that I did use the full word last night, and will not utter it again."

"One of the reasons I accepted the challenge of working on Peter Farrelly’s movie Green Book was to expose ignorance and prejudice in the hope that our movie’s story might help in some way to change people’s views and feelings regarding racial issues,' Mortensen continued. "It is a beautiful, profound movie story that I am very proud to be a part of."