Well, I hope you updated your Matt Damon slur log in pencil yesterday. (Category: Homosexual; Sub-category: “F-slur for a homosexual.”) As you may remember, the actor recently gave an interview to the Sunday Times during which he was quoted as saying: “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.”
Because the comment received reactions online that were decidedly not “we are proud of Matt Damon for his fearless retirement of the ‘f-slur,’” Damon has released a lengthy statement to Variety in an effort to correct, or at least an attempt to adjust, the record. Instead of the family scene he described, during which his daughter wrote him a letter to explain why his recent use of a word in a joke was incorrect even after he told her it was “a joke!,” it seems the scene was actually … a different scene entirely. A scene during which the whole family united in their non-use, ever, of the “f-slur” (now referenced, somewhat jarringly, as “f*g” and “f****t”) and their commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community; a hot commodity lately. Here it is, via Variety:
“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. 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.
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,” Damon continued. “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.”
All right, man. The statement does not mention whether he was misquoted or why he would have said, in this version of events, “I retire the f-slur!”, which was my particular favorite part of the, uh, first version of events.