Matt Damon is responding to the backlash he received over the weekend after he says remarks from an interview were taken out of context.
The Stillwater actor, 50, clarified an idea that he had only just stopped using the “f-slur” after he was admonished by one of his daughters. Damon is quoted in a Sunday Times interview as saying the offensive slur was “commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application.”
“She went to her room and wrote a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous. I said: ‘I retire the f-slur!’,” he told the British newspaper. “I understood.”
Following all of the backlash that Damon has received on social media, he released a new statement to Variety to try and clear up his comments.
Matt said, “During a recent interview, I recalled a discussion I had with my daughter where I attempted to contextualize for her the progress that has been made – though by no means completed – since I was growing up in Boston and, as a child, heard the word ‘f*g’ used on the street before I knew what it even referred to.”
He continued, “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; she in turn expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly. 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 normalized it was. I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice.”
In conclusion, Damon said, “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. I have learned that eradicating prejudice requires active movement toward justice rather than finding passive comfort in imagining myself ‘one of the good guys’. And given that open hostility against the LGBTQ+ community is still not uncommon, I understand why my statement led many to assume the worst. To be as clear as I can be, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”
He may have not called anyone directly the slur, but it does seem, from his what he’s saying, that he was using the term in conversation. Otherwise, why state, “I retire the f-slur!,” as I’m assuming he didn’t think he was speaking for the entire world?
I do suggest that Damon’s PR reps give him some extensive interview training, given the fact that he tends to torpedo one interview after another.
Monday evening (Aug. 02, 2021), GLAAD’s Head of Talent Anthony Allen Ramos issued a statement on the organization’s behalf.
“The conversations that have arisen after Matt Damon’s original interview and subsequent remarks today are an important reminder that this word, or any word that aims to disparage and disrespect LGBTQ people, has no place in mainstream media, social media, classrooms, workplaces, and beyond,” wrote GLAAD’s Ramos. “There needs to be accountability at a time when anti-LGBTQ slurs remain rampant today and can fuel discrimination and stereotypes, especially when used by those outside of the community to defame or describe LGBTQ people.