By Marianne Garvey, CNN
Matt Damon has issued a statement to clarify what he meant when he revealed that his daughter schooled him on using an anti-LGBTQ+ slur.
The “Stillwater” star told the Sunday Times in a recent interview that he retired the ‘f-slur’ after his daughter wrote him a “treatise” on how wrong the word is after he said it at home in the context of recalling a joke from a movie.
In Damon’s statement Tuesday, he said he has never used the word in his “personal life” and does not “use slurs of any kind.” He says he was trying to show his daughter how far the LGBTQ+ community has come, while there is still much work left to do.
“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*g’ used on the street before I knew what it even referred to,” Damon said in a statement obtained by People.
CNN has contacted a rep for Damon.
“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,” his statement continued. “To my admiration and pride, she 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. I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice.”
Damon stressed that he does not use slurs of any kind in his personal life.
“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. “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.”
He signed off with, “To be as clear as I can be, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”
GLAAD issued a statement in response to the discussions around Damon’s remarks.
“The conversations that have arisen after Matt Damon’s original interview and subsequent remarks today are an important reminder that this word, or any word that aims to disparage and disrespect LGBTQ people, has no place in mainstream media, social media, classrooms, workplaces, and beyond,” said GLAAD’s head of talent Anthony Allen Ramos.
“There needs to be accountability at a time when anti-LGBTQ slurs remain rampant today and can fuel discrimination and stereotypes, especially when used by those outside of the community to defame or describe LGBTQ people.”
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