BY HILARY LEWIS | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren for CNT
The actor said the incident took place after he made a joke “months ago,” and recalls how the offensive term for gay people “was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application.”
Matt Damon has revealed that he stopped using what his daughter calls the “f-slur for a homosexual,” after a recent joke from the actor prompted his daughter to write “a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous.”
In an interview with the U.K.’s Sunday Times published today, Damon recalls how the offensive term for gay people was “commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application.”
But when he used the term in a joke “months ago,” she made him see that he made a mistake.
“I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter. She left the table,” Damon recalls. “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.”
The anecdote came up as Damon, currently starring in the Tom McCarthy-directed thriller Stillwater, talks about changes in modern masculinity, and he looks back on comments he made about sexual misconduct claims against Harvey Weinstein.
After saying, “As the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night,” he was criticized, with commentators saying anyone, regardless of whether you are a father of daughters, should be offended.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Damon says, “I understand. It’s a fair point. Anybody should be offended by that behavior.”
And he goes on to reflect on how what he says in interviews might be parsed now more than it was two decades ago.
“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,” he says. “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— up more.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Damon’s reps for further comment.
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