Matt Damon has said that he recently decided to stop using a homophobic slur after his daughter criticised him for doing it.
The actor, who stars in new film Stillwater, revealed in a new interview that he made a “joke” involving what his daughter calls the “f-slur for a homosexual” just “months ago”.
Damon, 50, told The Sunday Times that his daughter criticised him for using the offensive term and, after she “left the table”, he told her: “Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie Stuck on You!”
The Jason Bourne actor said: “I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter. 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.”
He suggested that he used the word as he claims it “was commonly used” when he was a child, but “with a different application”.
Damon’s admission came after acknowledging that his quotes are picked up by news outlets more regularly now than they were when his career launched in the mid-1990s.
“Twenty years ago, the best way I can put it is that the journalist listened to the music more than the lyrics [of an interview],” he said. “Now your lyrics are getting parsed, to pull them out of context and get the best headline possible.
“Before it didn’t really matter what I said, because it didn’t make the news. But maybe this shift is a good thing. So I shut the f*** up more.”
He then proceeded to share the anecdote about saying the homophobic slur, which has prompted criticism from many, including actor, comedian and TV presenter Billy Eichner.
The Independent has contacted Damon’s representative for comment.