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Matt Damon’s confession no one asked for: He stopped using ‘f-slur for a homosexual’

A man in a short-sleeve shirt looks into the camera.
Actor Matt Damon says he longer uses an offensive anti-gay slur.
(Stephanie Cornfield / For The Times)

Unprompted, actor Matt Damon decided to tell the Sunday Times — and the world — that he finally stopped using the “f-slur for a homosexual” months ago after one of his daughters informed him it’s wrong.

In the interview, which ran Sunday in the London publication, the 50-year-old Oscar winner said that the word was “commonly used” when he was growing up, but “with a different application.” Damon, who was raised in Cambridge, Mass., and attended Harvard, recalled making a joke that prompted his daughter to leave the table.

He said he told her, “Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie ‘Stuck on You!’

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

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With an empathetic eye and cross-cultural cast led by Matt Damon and Camille Cottin, ‘Stillwater’ director Tom McCarthy tried to upend expectations for his dramatic thriller.

Though he didn’t say which daughter suddenly enlightened him, Damon is a father of four. He has three young daughters with his wife, Luciana Barroso, and Barroso’s 22-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Elsewhere in the Sunday Times interview, the “Stillwater” actor mourned the “dying breed” of leading men in Hollywood, “changes in modern masculinity” and “the way cinema is changing.” While Damon is apparently alarmed by the latter, users on social media were astounded by his unsolicited remarks.

Amanda Knox took aim at Tom McCarthy and Matt Damon’s new film, ‘Stillwater,’ for profiting ‘off my name, face, & story without my consent,’ she says.

One user tweeted, “My favorite thing about this Matt Damon thing is he told on himself. This didn’t leak, he literally told us.” Another wrote, “The fact that Matt Damon’s daughter had to explain to him that saying a slur is wrong is insane.”

For some, Damon’s confession wasn’t surprising. Following his remarks regarding “Project Greenlight” in 2015, which was produced by a Black woman, one user said, “Never looked at him the same after that.”

Damon and producer Effie Brown were seen in an on-screen argument. Brown implored the judges on the reality TV show to select a diverse team of directors, to which Damon responded, “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”

While some think Damon’s admission about retiring the homophobic slur might be an attempt to grow, others wonder what other offensive things he’s saying at home.

Matt Damon released a statement Wednesday addressing the backlash surrounding comments he made about diversity on Sunday’s Season Four premiere of HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” the reality television series he produces with Ben Affleck.

Legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence tweeted, “If Matt Damon’s using homophobic slurs at the dinner table in 2021, you can’t tell me he’s not using racist slurs too. Bet.”

It’s the latest controversy for Damon, who was called out by Amanda Knox last week for capitalizing off of her story in the new thriller “Stillwater.”

In a Twitter thread, Knox wrote, “Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.”

Here’s a look at how social media is reacting to Damon’s confession that no one seemed to ask for.


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