If you read Matt Damon's recent Sunday Times interview, you may have come away with the impression that he was still using the homophobic 'f' slur until his daughter recently enlightened him on how offensive it is. Not so, the actor insists. Far from being praised for allowing his kid to school him on this topic, Damon was met with quite a bit of backlash from people upset that he seemed to still be using such an awful word in the first place. In response, Damon issued a statement to Variety claiming that he's actually never used the word in his "personal life," though it did make an appearance in one of his movies. Rather, he insisted, he was simply talking to his daughter about the progress that's been made since his childhood, when the 'f' slur "was used constantly and casually."
His daughter, the lengthy statement continues, was incredulous "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." As for the backlash to the original interview, Newsweek rounds some of that up here, including one long Twitter thread starting with simply, "holy god Matt Damon is dumb." As the Guardian and the Mercury News point out, this is far from Damon's first such controversy; in recent years he's been criticized for his views on gay actors and the #MeToo movement, among other things. (See Damon's original comments here.)