Veteran TV director Tristram Shapeero has stepped forward to admit he was the voice insulting actor Lukas Gage’s “tiny” apartment during a now viral Zoom video audition in August.
Euphoria actor Lukas Gage shared a video of the awkward interaction and the Instagram post quickly went viral.
Watch the awkward encounter in the video above
After days of speculation, the identify of the director who scoffed at a young actor’s apartment during a Zoom audition was revealed when Shapeero outed himself as the guilty director.
In an essay for Deadline on Monday, Shapeero apologised to the 25-year-old and expressed remorse for what he said.
“First and foremost, I offer Mr Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words, my unprofessional behaviour during the audition and for not giving him the focus and attention he deserved,” he wrote.
“My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast.
“Lukas deserved better.”
Shapeero, who has worked in the industry for 20 years and helmed shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Community, said he was using the word “poor” in a sympathetic way and didn’t mean to insult anyone.
“My words were being spoken from a genuine place of appreciation for what the actors were having to endure, stuck in confined spaces, finding it within themselves to give a role-winning performance under these conditions,” he wrote.
In the clip, Shapeero, whom Gage did not identify in his Instagram post, could be heard saying, “These poor people live in these tiny apartments, like, I’m looking at his, you know, background and he’s got his TV …”
Gage winced and politely said: “You’re unmuted. I know it’s a s*** apartment.
“That’s why [you should] give me this job, so I can get a better one.”
Shapeero was immediately apologetic, saying, “Oh my God, I am so, so sorry” and admitting he was “mortified.”
After Gage shared the post on his social media accounts on Friday, several celebrities sounded off in the comments section and tried to guess the director’s identity.
“I have a guess,” Mad Men star January Jones wrote.
Shameless star Emmy Rossum also weighed in, and writer and comedian Jordan Firstman suggested Gage should “NAME NAMES.”
Shapeero’s apology came after the director told TMZ he hadn’t done anything wrong when approached by the news outlet earlier in the day.
“I don’t have any apology, because I didn’t say anything bad,” he said.