Josh Thomas apologizes for race comments: 'I'm super ashamed'

The comedian issued an apology after coming under fire for comments he made on diversity casting during a 2016 panel.
Comedian Josh Thomas issued an apology after coming under fire for controversial comments he made during a 2016 panel discussion.

On Saturday, the Australian writer and actor tweeted a call to action to change the name of Coon cheese, a popular brand in Australia, for the name's offensive nature toward Indigenous Australians. Soon after the tweet gained attention, Twitter users resurfaced a 2016 video of Thomas and pointed out his "casual racism."

In the 2016 video, Thomas spoke on the difficulties in casting non-white actors in television shows and claimed that "finding an experienced actor that's not white is really hard."

Thomas released an apology to his followers and called his actions "dumb, illogical" and "insensitive."

"Authentic diversity in casting (and behind the scenes) is something that is really important to me," Thomas said. "When making 'Please Like Me,' I always went into the casting process with it as a priority and then fell short, many times. The conversation about why the casting process in Australia is structured to keep out people who aren't white and straight, with symmetrical faces and no body fat percentage, is an important one to have. But the answers I offered in this clip are in no way constructive or correct. "

Thomas concluded his apology, "I am committed to doing better."



Before the controversy surfaced, On the Red Carpet spoke with Thomas, who is also a writer, actor and producer on Freeform's "Everything's Gonna Be Okay," about Pride month.

While Thomas loves attending Pride events both in Sydney and West Hollywood, the 33-year-old comedian recognized his privilege in being able to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and called attention to marginalized, at-risk members of the queer community.

"You don't need to go too many steps out [into] this world to find kids that are being kicked out of their family. I mean, people are still using religion to discriminate against gay people a lot," Thomas said.

Thomas also pointed out that other countries have not come so far in terms of acceptance and it is still punishable by law to be homosexual.

"It makes me feel a bit silly when I imagine [myself] on the show complaining that my souffle didn't rise...when you compare it to their problems," Thomas continued. "When we talk about gay pride, there are a lot more gay people that are comfortable, but you don't need to look that much further out to realize that there's still a lot to do."
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