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While presenting the award for best supporting actress in a film, Keaton incorrectly referred to Fox’s Hidden Figures as “Hidden Fences,” confusing it with the Paramount drama Fences.
“I screwed the line up. I was nonchalant about it. I actually, now, I totally understand,” Keaton told a group of media outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, on Wednesday night at the premiere of his new film The Founder. “It makes me feel so badly that people feel badly. If somebody feels badly, that’s all that matters.”
He added that he’s “very sorry” for anyone who was “affected by it.”
“Especially those people in the movie, who worked all that time,” he said. “I always think about if they have brothers and sisters or mothers and fathers or friends waiting for this, then this guy — me — gets up, gives the wrong part. Watching a player drop a big pass, I always go, ‘Oh my gosh, I feel so bad.’ It kills me. So I am very very sorry.”
He also told the Associated Press on Wednesday night that anyone who reads something discriminatory into is “extraordinarily incorrect.”
“I mean, almost like calling Al Gore a climate-change denier,” Keaton added.
Keaton explained he “made a mistake reading the TelePrompTer and the cue cards” when he conflated the titles of Hidden Figures and Fences at the awards ceremony. Both films have predominantly black casts.
The Founder star said he’s a longtime civil rights supporter who taught his son the importance of being socially conscious.
NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager made the same notable snafu during the network’s preshow while speaking to Pharrell Williams, who nabbed his first Golden Globes nomination for scoring Hidden Figures with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. Nevertheless, Williams stood calm next to executive producer Mimi Valdes during the flub. (Bush Hager apologized for the mistake on Monday’s Today show.)
Keaton said Wednesday night that he wasn’t aware that #HiddenFences started trending on Twitter: “I don’t follow social media. I have very limited social media presence.”
Updated 11:52 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12: Added quotes from Keaton on the red carpet at The Founder premiere.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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