For some reason, the “Stillwater” actor volunteered this information in a new interview with The Sunday Times, in which he ruminated on the changing definitions of masculinity in Hollywood and his numerous media missteps.
The Oscar-winner, who has three daughters with wife Luciana Barroso, revealed that during a recent meal with his family, he said the word “faggot,” much to the dismay of one of his children, who are aged 15, 12 and 10.
“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 outlet. “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 continued, referencing the much-derided 2003 film — yes, a movie that came out nearly 20 years ago. “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.”
His admission struck many fans as particularly frustrating, given that he is a 50-year-old man living in the year 2021.
“So Matt Damon just figured out ‘months ago’, by way of a ‘treatise’ from a child, that he’s not supposed to say the word f*ggot,” comedian Travon Free wrote on Twitter.
“So not only did this 50-year-old man need to be taught this, but he had to be taught by his daughter because, apparently, he was walking around saying it in front of her enough that she had to stop him,” another Twitter user added. “Trash.”
“I’m around the same age as Damon + I’ve known this word was a slur since my teens. Pretty incredible amount of privilege to *just* realize it now,” a different person wrote.
This isn’t the first time Damon has put his foot in his mouth when it comes to the LGBTQ community. On a disastrous press tour in 2015, he lightly argued in favor of gay actors staying in the closet.
In a later interview with Ellen DeGeneres, he claimed his comments were mischaracterized, saying that he was “just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery.”
And yet, Damon seemingly has yet to learn his lesson — even while reflecting on how his thoughtless remarks can quickly become international news.
Using a bizarre analogy, he said, “Twenty years ago, the best way I can put it is that the journalist listened to the music more than the lyrics [of an interview]. Now your lyrics are getting parsed, to pull them out of context and get the best headline possible.”
“Before it didn’t really matter what I said, because it didn’t make the news,” he continued. But maybe this shift is a good thing. So I shut the fuck up more.”
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