Director Apologizes for Trash Talking Actor's "Tiny Apartment" During Zoom Audition

"I know it's a shitty apartment. That's why, give me this job so I can get a better one"
Director Apologizes for Trash Talking Actor's 'Tiny Apartment' During Zoom Audition
Zoom voyeurism is one of the more unfortunate parts of our worldwide pivot to video, with prying eyes online now looking to give your living space a rating out of 10. Now, a director has been forced to apologize for his comments about an actor's apartment after making another video calling mistake: leaving himself unmuted.

Last week, actor Lukas Gage shared a clip of himself at home in August, preparing for an audition on Zoom, only to have his living space picked apart by a director on the other end of the line.

"These poor people live in these tiny apartments," a voice says. "Like I'm looking at his, you know, background and he's got his TV..." Gage grimaces before replying, "I know it's a shitty apartment. That's why, give me this job so I can get a better one."

The voice on the other end of the line was Tristram Shapeero, a television director who has worked on shows including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Writing for Deadline, Shapeero apologized at length to Gage and clarified his comments.

"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," the director wrote. "My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast. Lukas deserved better,"

Shapeero explained that he "was using the word 'poor' in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment," writing that his 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 concluded: "As I say on the video, I'm mortified about what happened. While I can't put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, I move forward from this incident a more empathetic man; a more focused director and I promise, an even better partner to actors from the audition process to the final cut."