Matt Damon has spoken out after landing in hot water over a homophobic slur and insists he ‘stands with the LGBTQ+ community’.
The Good Will Hunting actor sparked outrage when he suggested in a recent interview that he only stopped using the F-slur months ago after being reprimanded by his daughter.
Many were shocked that Matt, 50, seemingly ‘retired’ the word only after being educated by one of his three young daughters.
However, the Oscar-winning star has now released a statement explaining his earlier comments.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, he said: ‘During a recent interview, I recalled a discussion I had with my daughter where I attempted to contextualise 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 normalised it was. I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice.’
Matt then insisted that he has ‘never called anyone ‘f****t’ in my personal life’ and that the conversation with his daughter ‘was not a personal awakening’.
He then stated: ‘I do not use slurs of any kind.’
The actor concluded his statement: ‘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.’
In his earlier interview with The Sunday Times, Matt recalled an exchange with his daughter during a family dinner, where he told a ‘joke’ using the F-slur.
‘The word that my daughter calls the “F-slur for a homosexual” was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application,’ he told the publication.
‘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,’ he added.
Matt did not identify which daughter he was referring to but he shares three biological children with wife Luciana, while also adopting her eldest daughter from a previous relationship.
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