Famous director under fire for ridiculing ‘poor’ actor during job interview: ‘The privilege of some people’

Back in November, actor Lukas Gage called out an unnamed director who shamed him for living in a “tiny apartment.”

You might have seen 25-year-old Gage as Derek on Love, Victor and as Tyler on Euphoria. Like any working actor, though, Gage has to audition to earn roles — and they aren’t always plentiful.

On Nov. 20, he posted a video with a very important public service announcement aimed at Hollywood directors. 

“PSA: If you’re a s***-talking director, make sure to mute your mic on Zoom meetings,” Gage wrote.

The video revealed a troubling exchange between the director and Gage. 

When the director thought he was muted, he said, “These poor people live in these tiny apartments. I’m looking at his background and he’s got his TV…”

Gage quickly jumped in, almost as if to spare the director of his own embarrassment.

“I know it’s a sh**** apartment,” Gage replied. “That’s why, give me this job so I can get a better one.”

The video went viral with over 9.9 million views. Many people sympathized with Gage.

“Screw that guy,” one person said.

“The privilege of some people,” another added.

After Gage’s video went viral, the director came forward and identified himself as Tristram Shapeero. The 20-year television veteran has worked on shows like The Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtBrooklyn Nine-Nine and Never Have I Ever and penned an apology published on Deadline.

“I have decided to come forward, take responsibility, make the apology Mr. Gage deserves and offer some background for my unacceptable and insensitive remarks,” Shapeero said in his apology.

He claimed that his remarks were about how actors were struggling during the pandemic, rather than ones of judgment.

“I was using the word ‘poor’ in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment,” Shapeero wrote. “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.”

If you enjoyed this story, find out why the “I hope I don’t fall” audio went viral on TikTok.

More from In The Know:

Meet the man on a mission to make 10,000 new friends

This is the microphone you keep seeing all over TikTok

This house-in-a-box has just about everything you need

My favorite lip balm for winter sells every minute