Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Matt Damon in Jason Bourne (Universal Pictures)
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have taken a stand against actor Matt Damon's recent comments about the word "f*g".
In an interview with The Times last weekend, the star described his history with the gay slur - which originated in the 1920s - revealing he only "retired" it recently.
He said the term "was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application. 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.”
"Anti-LGBTQ slurs remain rampant today"
Following intense backlash - including from out gay actor Billy Eichner - GLAAD’s Head of Talent Anthony Allen Ramos said in the statement (as per Rolling Stone): “The conversations that have arisen after Matt Damon’s original interview and subsequent remarks today are an important reminder that this word, or any word that aims to disparage and disrespect LGBTQ people, has no place in mainstream media, social media, classrooms, workplaces, and beyond.
“There needs to be accountability at a time when anti-LGBTQ slurs remain rampant today and can fuel discrimination and stereotypes, especially when used by those outside of the community to defame or describe LGBTQ people.”
In a statement to Variety after The Times interview, Behind the Candleabra actor Damon sought to clarify his remarks.
He told the outlet: “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."
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