Matt Damon is responding to backlash he received over the weekend after he says remarks from an interview were taken out of context.
The “Stillwater” actor, 50, clarified an idea that he had only just stopped using the “f-slur” after he was admonished by one of his daughters. Damon is quoted in a Sunday Times interview as saying the offensive slur was “commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application.”
He maintained that his daughter had actually written him a “treatise” on “how that word is dangerous.”
Now, in a memorandum to Variety, Damon carefully clarified his statements and firmly pressed that he has never used the word in his “personal life” and does not “use slurs of any kind.”
“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 the statement.
“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,” he 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.”
The “Departed” actor persists that he had “never called anyone ‘f****t’ in my personal life and this conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening,” adding, “I do not use slurs of any kind.”
“I have learned that eradicating prejudice requires active movement toward justice rather than finding passive comfort in imagining myself ‘one of the good guys’” he states. “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 Times sit-down, Damon said he and his daughter were engaged in a constructive conversation mere months ago about shifts in modern masculinity and how it translates to his profession as a performer.
“She left the table. I said, ‘Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie ‘Stuck on You!’” Damon explained. “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.”
Damon did not specify which of his four daughters with his wife, Luciana Barroso, was the one to pen the treatise that persuaded him to change his vocabulary. He has three daughters Isabella, 15, Gia, 12, and Stella, 10. Damon is also dad to stepdaughter Alexia, 23, who Barroso had from a previous relationship.
A rep for Damon did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.