In the wake of Matt Damon facing backlash over a recent interview in which the actor revealed he only stopped using the “f-slur for a homosexual” months ago, he is speaking out to clarify his remarks.
In an interview with the U.K.’s Sunday Times published over the weekend, Damon recalled how the offensive term for gay people was “commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application.” He then stirred controversy after sharing that he used the term in a joke “months ago,” but his daughter made him see that he made a mistake. In a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor clarified that he has never used the slur personally.
“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. 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,” Damon said in a statement provided to THR.
He added, “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.”