Yesterday, an interview was published in which Matt Damon claimed to have "retired" using a homophobic slur "months ago" after having a conversation with his daughter.
Now, the actor's provided a new statement to Variety clarifying his remarks and claiming he's "never called anyone ‘f****t’ in my personal life."
In the statement, Damon described the interaction with his daughter that he'd discussed in the interview as "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."
"I do not use slurs of any kind," Damon said later in the statement, after describing the conversation with his daughter as "not a personal awakening."
"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 the original interview, Damon also alluded to how his own interview comments sometimes attract criticism: “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.”
“Everyone needs clicks. Before, it didn’t really matter what I said, because it didn’t make the news. But maybe this shift is a good thing. So I shut the fuck up more.”