It’s part of my job as a very serious journalist to spot emerging trends, and I have come across a big one: well-known Matts using homophobic slurs.
The first famous Matt to do this is, of course, Matt Damon, who told this incredible story to a Sunday Times journalist over the weekend:
“The word that my daughter calls the ‘f-slur for a homosexual’ 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.”
Matt Damon—who has been very shitty in public before!—casually dropping what he refers to as “the f-slur” until just a few months ago is notable and says nothing good about him. Matt Damon excitedly sharing the story of him using “the f-slur”—with the clear implication that it would be received as a heartwarming example of his enlightened state—is one of the funniest celebrity mishaps I can remember. Everything about the story—from the phrase “f-slur for a homosexual” to Matt Damon protesting that his homophobic joke was in one of his movies—is gold, but the goldest part is how great he thinks the story makes him look.
The man hung up the phone and went “that gay slur story is KILLER.” He expected all the blogs about his allyship to flood the internet. Instead, he is being confronted with his intense level of stupidity. You have to be blinkered and oblivious to think that people will be stoked to hear how you just learned not to be homophobic in April, but you also have to be very dumb. Now we know!
This brings us to our second famous Matt: Matt Yglesias. Now, Matt Y is not Matt D-level famous—I’d say he’s a Media Them but an Everything Else Who in only the most generous sense—but he is still famous within the modern journalistic ecosystem, and he is making lots and lots of money from people who want to read his thoughts on the issues of the day. One of those thoughts on Sunday night was connected to the Damon fracas. It also involved Yglesias deploying that old “f-slur,” unexpurgated, on Twitter, as he opined that maybe politics needed more people who were comfortable using slurs until five minutes ago:
Hmmm. Once Yglesias had a moment to contemplate what he’d done, he deleted all of his tweets and issued this sincere apology:
Well, as long as he meant it.
What’s with all the boldfaced Matts diving into the slur pool? Is there something in Matt-land that’s causing this outbreak? Whatever’s going on, it’s clearly the start of something. Who will be the third famous Matt to get caught up in the trend??? Lauer? Groening? LeBlanc? McGorry??? Only time will tell….