Television director Tristram Shapeero has apologized for a comment he made during a virtual audition that was recently shared by “Euphoria” actor Lukas Gage.

In the video clip, which went viral over the weekend, Shapeero can 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,” seemingly unaware that his mic was unmuted. Gage then replied: “I know it’s a shitty apartment. That’s why, give me this job so I can get a better one.”

Although the director behind the comment was not identified in Gage’s tweet, celebrities and fans alike soon put their heads together and began to guess that Shapeero was behind it. Shapeero has previously directed episodes of “Never Have I Ever,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Community,” among others.

Now, in an article written for Deadline, Shapeero has officially come forward and apologized.

“First and foremost I offer Mr. Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words, my unprofessional behavior during the audition and for not giving him the focus and attention he deserved,” Shapeero wrote. “My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast. Lukas deserved better.”

Shapeero also clarified his use of the word “poor,” writing: “I was using the word ‘poor’ in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment. 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.”

The director concluded the statement by adding that he is “mortified” about the incident and wants to become “an even better partner to actors from the audition process to the final cut.” Read the full statement here.

Here’s what Hollywood had to say about Gage’s initial video.

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/tristram-shapeero-takes-responsibility-lukas-gage-comment-1234838809/