The actor faced criticised for revealing that he used the “f-slur for a homosexual” just “months ago” while at home, which then caused his daughter to write “a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous”.
“I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter,” he told The Sunday Times in a new interview. “I said, ‘I retire the f-slur!’ I understood.”
The actor also suggested he thought it was OK to use the offensive term as it had featured in the Farrelly brothers’ 2003 comedy Stuck on You, which he starred in, as well as the fact it “was commonly used” when he was a child, but “with a different application”.
Damon’s admission has been received with shock on social media, with actor, comedian and TV presenter Eichner being one of many to comment on his words.
“I want to know what word Matt Damon has replaced f****t with,” the Billy on the Street star wrote.
Damon’s admission came after the actor acknowledged 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.
The Independent has contacted Damon’s representative for comment. The actor was promoting his new drama Stillwater, which is in cinemas on 6 August.