In an interview with Fast Company Tuesday, the actor, 43, said the wedding is "something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for."
“It’s impossible to reconcile. What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy," he said. "Years ago we got married again at home – but shame works in weird ways."
He continued, "A giant (expletive) 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 (expletive) up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn’t end."
The secret September wedding eight years ago, which was planned and executed with the help of Martha Stewart's design team, took place outside of Charleston at Boone Plantation. The intimate event included performances by Florence Welch and was attended by 35 guests.
According to the plantation's website, there are nine historic slave cabins on the property where people can learn "how Black Americans worked and lived" as well as the "struggles that were faced."
People have shared criticism over the choice of venue on social media for years.
Last year, user @oureric called it out by tweeting, "Happy Juneteenth to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ wedding venue!"
"every time I see ryan reynolds and blake lively I remember they got married on a slave plantation," user @CHRlSTITTIES tweeted with an image in 2017.
every time I see ryan reynolds and blake lively I remember they got married on a slave plantation pic.twitter.com/EE64cXE12R— roni (@CHRlSTITTIES) October 24, 2017
"Never forgot that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married on a plantation. Never underestimate white people’s ability to white," user @anthoknees tweeted in 2019.
In May, Lively and Reynolds took to Instagram to announce they donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
"We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is," they wrote in their announcement.
The couple added that they're committed to raising their children to not inflict pain on others either "consciously or unconsciously."
"We've been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us," they wrote. "We want to educate ourselves about other people's experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it... especially our own complicity."
More recently, Reynolds launched a self-funded diversity and inclusion program in July called The Group Effort Initiative, which aims to give people from marginalized communities the opportunity to work on and learn from his productions.
In a video announcement, he explained the 10 to 20 trainees will include BIPOC as well as people from other marginalized communities across the age spectrum.
"All ages?! Yes!" he says in the video. "Because it's never too late."
He added, "These new recruits are going to be paid and housed and traveled out of my salary. They're going to spend their days on set learning from professionals, getting real life experience that they can then parlay into another job and then hopefully – if they're not too disillusioned – a career in the film industry."
Contributing: Bryan Alexander and Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively are sorry for plantation wedding 'mistake'