It's the first time either of them have publicly addressed the controversy.

By Kimberly Truong
Aug 04, 2020 @ 9:03 am
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Ryan Reynolds has opened up for the first time about the regret he and Blake Lively feel over having their 2012 wedding on a plantation, and said the remorse caused them to have a second wedding at home years later.

In an interview with Fast Company, the actor said, "It’s something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for."

"It’s impossible to reconcile," he continued. "What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy. Years ago we got married again at home — but shame works in weird ways. A giant f—king mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn’t mean you won’t fuck up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn’t end."

In 2012, the actors wed in a ceremony at Charleston, South Carolina’s Boone Hall Plantation. Last year, Pinterest and The Knot cracked down on the promotion of venues that once served as slave plantations. Pinterest restricted plantation wedding content and worked to de-index Google searches, meaning that while you can still search for "plantation wedding" on the site, the page now includes a banner explaining that the content may violate the brand’s policies.

"Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things," a Pinterest spokesperson said at the time.

The Knot, meanwhile, created new guidelines for how the venues are able to describe themselves, and under the new guidelines, plantations (and former plantations branding themselves as manors or farms) won’t be able to "use language that glorifies, celebrates, or romanticizes Southern plantation history."

Following the killing of George Floyd in May, Reynolds and Lively made a $200,000 donation to NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

"We’re committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they’ll do their best to never inflict pain on another being consciously or unconsciously," they wrote in a statement at the time.

Reynolds recently announced he is launching a new initiative supporting aspiring filmmakers from unrepresented communities called Group Effort.

"Making a movie, well it’s a group effort," he said. "But for entirely too long, that group has systematically excluded Black, Indigenous, people of color and a whole host of other marginalized communities."

He said that he will be making a movie this fall, and bringing on between 10 and 20 trainees from the BIPOC community and all other marginalized communities of all ages who will be paid, housed, and traveled out of Reynolds's own salary and "spend their days on set learning from professionals, getting real life experiences that they can parlay into another job."