Matt Damon first made his name playing a coarse M*sshole who happens to be a reluctant genius. Since Good Will Hunting, he’s built a very different persona: Nice, affable, polite, often endearingly bumbling. (A rare exception is as the Gruff Midwestern Everyman he plays in the new film Stillwater.) But you can’t take the Massachusetts out of a Massachusettsite, which is why — for some reason — he decided to confess that he only stopped using the “f-slur” semi-recently.
In a new interview with the UK’s Sunday Times (as caught by Vulture), the actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter opened with an anecdote about how his daughter stopped him from using an epithet that went out of fashion among polite society quite a long time ago. He called it “the f-slur for homosexual,” and he was apparently still throwing that one around, at least among family and friends.
To get him to retire the term took, he said, a “very long” plea from his daughter. “I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter,” he recounted. “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.”
Why would Damon self-own like this? And why did it take so long, especially since he’s played two prominent LGBTQ+ characters, in Behind the Candelabra and The Talented Mr. Ripley? Who knows! But for some reason he never got the memo that the only people who still use the “f-slur” are old school bigots, or certain rappers. Indeed, this bit of news was dropped during a recent epidemic in homophobia amongst the hip-hop world, which saw DaBaby get booted from Lollapalooza due to an anti-gay tirade.
When the news hit social media, it left a lot of people confused.
why would matt damon freely share that lol
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) August 1, 2021
This news bit about Matt Damon only recently deciding to stop saying “faggot” after his daughter wrote him a “treatise” on it just makes me sad. Geez. pic.twitter.com/P7VMDsJIcG
— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) August 1, 2021
So Matt Damon just figured out “months ago”, by way of a “treatise” from a child, that he’s not supposed to say the word f*ggot.
Months ago. pic.twitter.com/g8MRR39yVR
— Travon Free (@Travon) August 1, 2021
The fact that Matt Damon’s daughter had to explain to him that saying a slur is wrong is insane pic.twitter.com/KeOIlxRZP8
— Cedrica (@iamcedrica) August 1, 2021
Anyway, welcome to 2021, Mr. Damon!