The “Stillwater” actor sat down for an interview with The Sunday Times where he discussed changes in modern masculinity and what that means for him as an actor and public figure. He revealed that he used the slur in front of his daughter mere months ago, prompting her to get offended and leave the room.
“She left the table. I said, ‘Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie ‘Stuck on You!’” Damon explained. “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.”
Although his daughter helped him see that the word is considered offensive to many people, the actor still noted that the slur was used “commonly” when he was a kid.
“With a different application,” he noted.
Damon did not specify which of his four daughters with his wife, Luciana Barroso, was the one to pen the treatise that persuaded him to change his vocabulary. He has three daughters Isabella, 15, Gia, 12, and Stella, 10. Damon is also dad to stepdaughter Alexia, 23, who Barroso had from a previous relationship.
Ironically enough, in the same interview in which Damon caught backlash for admitting he only recently stopped using the “f-slur,” he also comments on the backlash he received in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement by noting that he still has a lot to learn and should consider mouthing off in the press less.
At the time, Damon looked at the widespread abuse allegations sparked by an expose on now-disgraced movie mogul and convicted rapist, Harvey Weinstein, and said that he was outraged as a father. However, people took the 50-year-old leading man to task noting that one should be offended by such behavior and misconduct toward women as a human being, not just a parent.
“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]. Now your lyrics are getting parsed, to pull them out of context and get the best headline possible,” the actor said of the 2017 backlash. “Everyone needs clicks. 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.”
This has been a week filled with controversy for Damon as he tries to promote the movie “Stillwater.” In addition to fielding countless questions about his friend and writing partner Ben Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez, he was blasted on social media by Amanda Knoxx, whose real-life wrongful murder conviction was the inspiration behind his latest film.