Matt Damon is opening up about how he is changing as a man and as a father.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Times, the 50-year-old actor and star of the new film "Stillwater" revealed that he recently stopped using the homophobic slur for gay men after his daughter said something to him about it.
“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 British 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!'’ 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.”
It's unclear which of his daughters was the one in his anecdote. Damon shares four daughters with his wife, Luciana Barroso: Alexia Barroso, 22, Isabella Damon, 15, Gia Damon, 12, and Stella Damon, 10.
The actor clarified his comments on Monday evening.
“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 said, in part. “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.”
In his comments to the Sunday Times, Damon had also explained his views on how journalism has changed in the last two decades, where interviews are being aggregated online with the most interesting soundbites at the front. Because of this, he has decided to edit a bit more of what he reveals.
“I just think that there’s a tendency now... “ he began. "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 f--k up more."