After uproar, Matt Damon insists he’s ‘never called anyone’ an anti-gay slur

Christi Carras
Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Actor Matt Damon attends the premiere of "Stillwater" at Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, July 26, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Matt Damon is doing damage control after an unsolicited confession regarding a homophobic slur ignited outrage on Twitter this week.

In a statement provided Monday to the Los Angeles Times, the Oscar-winning actor clarified that he has “never called anyone” an anti-gay term, despite previously admitting — unprovoked — to the Sunday Times that he stopped using “the f-slur for a homosexual” only months ago at his daughter’s behest.

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“I have never called anyone ‘f—' in my personal life and this conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening,” Damon said in his statement.

“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.”

The “Stillwater” star‘s latest remarks come on the heels of immense public scrutiny of his buzzy Sunday Times interview. In conversation with the London publication, Damon voluntarily divulged that he recently used the aforementioned slur while joking around with his daughter.

Despite his attempts to justify his behavior (“Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie ‘Stuck on You!’”), his unamused daughter proceeded to write “a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous” — prompting Damon to officially “retire the f-slur.”

“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—’ used on the street before I knew what it even referred to,” Damon said in his latest statement.

“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.”

After the Sunday Times profile dropped, Damon soon began trending on Twitter, which roasted him mercilessly for the admission absolutely no one asked for.

To a lesser degree, several also blasted him for mourning the “dying breed” of leading men in Hollywood, “changes in modern masculinity” and “the way cinema is changing” — all in the same eyebrow-raising interview.

“To my admiration and pride, (my daughter) 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,” Damon continued in his Monday statement.

“I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice.”