Actor Viggo Mortensen apologizes for using racial slur

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Viggo Mortensen, left, and Mahershala Ali, winners of the ensemble award for "Green Book," pose in the press r

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Viggo Mortensen, left, and Mahershala Ali, winners of the ensemble award for "Green Book," pose in the press r

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Viggo Mortensen arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mortensen has apologized for usi

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Viggo Mortensen arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mortensen has apologized for usi

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Viggo Mortensen has apologized for using a racial slur during a panel discussion about his new film "Green Book."

Mortensen, who is white, appeared Wednesday at the event with his co-star, Mahershala Ali, and director Peter Farrelly.

Mortensen told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday he was making the point that many people casually used the slur in 1962, when the movie takes place. He says he had "no right to even imagine the hurt that is caused by hearing the word in any context." He says he intended to "speak strongly against racism" and is sorry he used the word.

In "Green Book," Mortensen's character is hired to drive an African-American pianist on a concert tour in the South.

The movie is due in theaters later this month.