Matt Damon’s New Statement On Retiring The F-Slur

“I understand why my statement led many to assume the worst.”

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.

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“She went to her room and wrote a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous,” he told the Sunday Times. “I said, ‘I retire the f-slur!’ I understood.”

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.”

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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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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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.”

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“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.”

Dominique Charriau / WireImage

Read Damon’s entire statement here.

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