Matt Damon, know for his role in Goodwill Hunting and most recently Stillwater, was getting backlash from the LGBTQ+ community because of a recent interview in which he revealed he just recently stopped using the f-slur because of his daughter. Now he's backtracking, saying that he does "not use slurs of any kind."
He was quoted in The Sunday Times saying:
"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 Damon recently submitted a statement to Variety saying that he doesn't use the f-slur in his "personal life" and does not "use slurs of any kind."
His statement explained the context in which he used that language:
"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 also shared that his quote was not alluding to a "personal awakening," but rather a testament to her willingness to advocate for the community.
"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."
To Damon's dismay, people aren't buying it.
@jjmplsmn @Variety Damon: “Following a thorough bollocking from my daughter, I have stopped using this word that I… https://t.co/Hl13MC7pZl— Thomas🌹🇵🇸 (@Thomas🌹🇵🇸) 1627958909.0
@Variety I don’t believe anyone Matt Damon’s age who says he has never used that word.— A Way 🇨🇦🏳️🌈 (@A Way 🇨🇦🏳️🌈) 1627963465.0
@Variety https://t.co/WjScqd98qe— Shirene Fereshteh (she/her) (@Shirene Fereshteh (she/her)) 1628003697.0
@Variety I haven’t seen a pivot as bad as Matt Damon’s since I tried to create an Excel graph from scratch.— Karl Havoc (@Karl Havoc) 1628002607.0
This comes on the heels of rapper DaBaby going on a homophobic rant at a concert and getting pulled from major Chicago music festival Lollapalooza.
@Variety Matt Damon saw what happened to DaBaby and called his PR agent in distress 😂😂😂— 𖨆 Pro-Black Luxury (@𖨆 Pro-Black Luxury) 1628003957.0
The LGBTQ+ media outlet GLAAD issued statement in response to Matt Damon.
Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD's Head of Talent, said:
"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."
"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."
Is public backlash enough accountability? We will have to find out.