Matt Damon swears that he’s never used the F-word slur in his personal life, even though he recently admitted that he had said it in front of his daughter, prompting her to leave the room he was in. The Hollywood actor is now backtracking on his earlier comments in which he suggested that he had used but also retired the homophobic F-word from his vocabulary. Here’s what you need to know.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Damon discussed changes in modern masculinity and what it means for him as a public figure. He also opened up about a time he used a gay slur in front of his family, prompting his daughter to walk away and leave the room.
Recalling the moment, Damon said, “The word that my daughter calls the ‘f-slur for a homosexual’ was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application. I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter. She left the table. I said, ‘Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie Stuck on You!’ 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!’ I understood.”
But now Damon says that some of his earlier remarks might have been misconstrued, and that he is nothing but a best friend to the LGBTQ community.
Damon put it this way, “I have never called anyone ‘f—-t’ in my personal life, I do not use slurs of any kind. 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–‘ 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 [Stuck on You] as recently as 2003. She in turn expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly.”
He added, “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. 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 .”
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