Matt Damon faced major backlash after admitting in a recent interview that he stopped using the 'f-slur' only after one of his daughters educated him on why he shouldn't. Now, the Stillwater actor is walking back his previous remarks.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, published on Monday, August 2, the 50-year-old began, “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,” the Good Will Hunting actor continued. “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 [was] thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice.”
“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,” he continued. “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," Damon concluded, "I stand with the LGBTQ+ community."
As OK! previously reported, the Massachusettes native faced criticism after he told The Sunday Times on Sunday, August 1, that he only recently stopped using what his daughter calls "the f-slur for a homosexual" following a heated family discussion. (Damon shares daughters Isabella, 15, Gia, 12, and Stella, 10, with wife Luciana Barroso — and is also a stepdad to Barroso's 22-year-old daughter Alexia.)
Noting the derogatory term was "commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application,” Damon explained, “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!’"
Damon's admission raised eyebrows — and inspired strong reactions, including one from Billy Eichner, who tweeted, "I want to know what word Matt Damon has replaced f****t with."