In the face of a backlash after being quoted as saying that he recently decided to “withdraw” a homophobic slur, actor Matt Damon said in a statement Monday that “I don’t use slurs.”
The statement followed an interview published this week by The Sunday Times in which Mr. Damon recounted a conversation he had with his daughter in which he “made a joke” that led her to write him an essay on its historical damage to write what she calls “the”. f-Slur for a homosexual. ‘”
“She went into her room and wrote a very long, beautiful treatise on how dangerous that word is,” said Mr Damon, according to The Sunday Times, a British newspaper. “I said, ‘I’m pulling back the visor arch!’ I have understood.”
In the statement Variety received, Mr. Damon said that in his “personal life” he had never referred to “anyone” as the word and that he understood why his framing in the interview “led many to assume the worst “.
He added that while speaking with his daughter, he remembered hearing evil being used on the street as a kid in Boston “before I even knew what it was related to.”
“I explained that this word was used constantly and casually and was even a line of dialogue in one of my films back in 2003; She, in turn, expressed her disbelief that there could ever have been a time when that word was used thoughtlessly, “said Mr. Damon in the statement. “To my admiration and pride, she made it very clear about how painful that word would have been for someone in the LGBTQ + community, regardless of how culturally normalized it was. I not only agreed with her, but was enthusiastic about her passion, her values and her desire for social justice. “
“This conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening,” he continued. “I don’t use bows of any kind.”
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr. Damon seemed to imply that the word had come up in a joke.
“The word my daughter calls the ‘f-slur for a homosexual’ was used a lot in my childhood, with a different application,” said Mr Damon in the interview. “I made a joke months ago and got a memoir from my daughter. She left the table. I said, ‘Come on, this is a joke! I say it in the movie “Stuck on You”! ‘”
In the interview, he did not state which of his daughters the interaction took place with.
Many on social media were unimpressed by Mr. Damon’s story, saying that years – not months – he should have known better. Some also wondered why Mr. Damon was telling the story in the first place.
Charlotte Clymer, a former spokeswoman for the human rights campaign, said on Twitter that while she got the mood of the story, “It’s like more than 10 years ago. And he knows better. “
This is not the first time Mr Damon has been controversial with comments about LGBTQ people.
In 2015, he told The Guardian that in acting it was important that “people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the secrets one should be able to play,” adding that he imagined “That it must be really difficult”. “For gay actors to make their sexuality public. On the Ellen Show, Mr. Damon defended the remarks, saying that “actors are more effective when they’re a mystery”.
In his statement on Monday, the actor admitted that “open hostility” towards LGBTQ people is not uncommon.
“To be as clear as possible, I am helping the LGBTQ + community,” he said.