Matt Damon’s stiff wake up call to the realities of modern society continues as he attempts to repair the damage made by his recent comments in reference to an archaic and offensive homophobic slur.
In a recent interview published by The Sunday Times, Matt Damon described an incident several months ago in which he made a joke using, as his daughter outlined, “the f-slur for a homosexual”. Explaining why it was wrong to use the word, his daughter wrote him “a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous” as Damon described, before adding, “I said, ‘I retire the f-slur!’ I understood”.
After the article went viral and caused an outburst of criticism from fans on social media, Damon has clarified in a statement that he has never used the slur in his “personal life”.
“This conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening,” he exclaimed, “I do not use slurs of any kind”.
The actor stated that during the interview, he recalled a conversation with his daughter where he “attempted to contextualise for her the progress that has been made – though by no means completed”. Contextualising the word within his own experiences, Damon noted that since his early days growing up in Boston, he’d “heard the word ‘f**’ used on the street before I knew what it even referred to”.
“I explained that that word was used constantly and casually and was even a line of dialogue in a movie of mine as recently as 2003,” he explained, “She, in turn, expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly”.
Proud of his daughter’s reaction, Matt Damon stated, “To my admiration and pride, she was extremely articulate about the extent to which that word would have been painful to someone in the LGBTQ+ community regardless of how culturally normalised it was. I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice”.
Continuing, the actor elaborated, commenting, “I have never called anyone ‘f****t’ in my personal life and this conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening. I do not use slurs of any kind”. Concluding, “To be as clear as I can be, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community”.
Damon’s latest film, Stillwater, is out now in the US before being released across Europe from August 6th.