Matt Damon is being pilloried on social media after revealing in an interview with the Sunday Times that his daughter called him out for using a gay slur in a joke he told her, ultimately leading him to the understanding he needed to “retire” that particular word.
The lesson he learned, however, was apparently lost in the uproar over Damon’s admission of using the slur, with the interview stoking outrage and criticism in the Twittersphere.
On Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher offered his own inimitable take, coming to the “Bourne Identity” star’s defense.
“Someone has to tell me, why is this guy always in the dog house with the online hall monitors of righteousness?” asked Maher at the beginning of his signature “New Rules” segment.
“It is a phenomenon that truly fascinates me, that every couple of years, Matt Damon, one of the most likable guys in Hollywood with impeccable liberal credentials, is again flailing around in cancel culture quicksand,” he continued.
Maher then referenced Damon’s admission of using the word, and his declaration of support for the LGBTQ community.
“It’s not always meant as a slur but it’s wrong, yes of course, and Damon owned up, saying that while coming of age in Boston in the ’70s and ’80s, that word was thrown around without any thought put into it,” said Maher, offering some context.
“And now, now he’s put some thought into it. And he’s going to stop using it. One might say he became woke,” Maher added.
According to Maher, Damon was “late to the party, to which we could say, ‘Welcome, glad you could make it.’ Or we could say, ‘You came later than I did, die.’”
To further make his point, Maher noted a USA Today headline reading, “I Wish I Could Cancel Matt Damon,” and another from the Washington Post that stated, “Damon Has More Damonsplaining to Do.”
Maher also singled out a headline in Vox describing Damon as “ignorant,” pointing out that among the actor’s charitable endeavours are a clean water charity he founded and delivering food to Haiti. “What have you done, Vox headline writer?” Maher asked sarcastically.
“And yet he is always getting pulled over by the woke police for something,” Maher added. “He’s got a woke rap sheet as long as your arm.”
Noting the “bad-faith arguments” that permeate social media at the moment, Maher referenced one of Damon’s most renowned roles to offer some advice: “Stop hunting for goodwill, you’re not going to find much in this country.