“Green Book” director Peter Farrelly said Wednesday that he is “deeply sorry” for exposing himself to colleagues in the past after resurfaced interviews raised questions about his behavior behind the scenes.
Farrelly, who directed a slew of comedies such as “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary” throughout the ’90s, used to make a habit of flashing his genitals to cast and crew members, according to articles published decades ago and recently rediscovered by The Cut.
Farrelly once said that he and his brother, frequent collaborator Bobby Farrelly, performed what they described as a joke “easily 500 times,” including in front of studio executive Tom Rothman and actress Cameron Diaz.
But now, in the wake of multiple Golden Globes for his latest film, Farrelly is expressing regret.
“I was an idiot. I did this decades ago and I thought I was being funny and the truth is I’m embarrassed and it makes me cringe now,” the director said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m deeply sorry.”
In a 1998 Newsweek article about the Farrelly brothers, the interviewer recounts how the brothers “concocted a variety of clever ploys designed to get you to look” at Farrelly’s penis, characterizing the sexual harassment as outrageous, but largely accepted, boyish pranks.
“When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you’ve got to recognize the creative genius,” Diaz, who starred alongside Ben Stiller in “There’s Something About Mary,” told Newsweek.
Farrelly apparently showed Diaz his genitals before she even signed onto the film, according to an article from The Observer, which was also published in 1998 and resurfaced by The Cut. (The article is available online only on Nexis.)
“We did it before she was in,” Farrelly explained at the time. When asked if thought it was risky exposing himself to a big star like Diaz, the director added, “Of course! That’s what got her in.”
Despite its strong showing at the Globes over the weekend, “Green Book” has been marred with controversy since its release.
The film follows the unlikely friendship between pianist Don Shirley and his driver, Tony Lip, while traveling through the deep South on a concert tour in 1962. It has been rebuked by Shirley’s family as a “symphony of lies,” as his last surviving brother called it.
Screenwriter Nick Vallelonga, who also went home with a Golden Globes trophy on Sunday, has recently come under fire for a resurfaced anti-Muslim tweet directed at then-candidate Donald Trump about his claim that Muslim-Americans “celebrated” the 9/11 attacks.