Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Matt Damon in 'Stillwater' (Focus Features)
Matt Damon had revealed he was still using the homophobic "f-slur" as recently as "months ago".
The term has been used as a slur to describe gay men since the 1920s, but in a new interview with The Times, Stillwater actor Damon claims the word was used "with a different application" when he was a child - and it was his daughter who recently educated him about the true extent of its offensiveness.
Damon has three daughters aged 15, 13 and 10 with wife Luciana Bozán.
"I said, ‘I retire the f-slur!’"
“The word that my daughter calls the ‘f-slur for a homosexual’ was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application,” Damon, 50, told the publication.
“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!’"
The star then added: "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.”
Damon played a gay character in 2013 when he starred as Scott Thorson, lover of pianist Liberace, in the hit TV movie Behind the Candelabra.
In a 2015 interview with The Observer, he caused backlash when he suggested gay actors should stay in the closet.
"I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly," he said. "But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”
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