Quotes from the news wire:
I have never called anyone' f **** t' in my personal life and this conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening. I do not use slurs of any kind, i have learned that eradicating prejudice requires active movement toward justice rather than finding passive comfort in imagining Matt Damon' one of the good guys'. And given that open hostility against the LGBTQ + community is still not uncommon, I understand why my statement led many to assume the worst.
During a recent interview, I recalled a discussion I had with my daughter where I attempted to contextualize for her the progress that has been made -- though by no means completed -- since I was growing up in Boston and, as a child, heard the word' f * g' used on the street before I knew what it even referred to.
During a recent interview, I recalled a discussion I had with my daughter where I attempted to contextualize for her the progress that has been made – though by no means completed – since I was growing up in Boston and, as a child, heard the word ‘f*g’ used on the street before I knew what it even referred to, i explained that that word was used constantly and casually and was even a line of dialogue in a movie of mine as recently as 2003; she in turn expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly.
When Matt Damon see Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken taking a picture putting Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera … that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he should n’t have done that, but when you talk about Harvey Weinstein and what Harvey Weinstein’s accused of, there are no pictures of that. Harvey Weinstein knew Harvey Weinstein was up to no good. There’s no witnesses. There’s no pictures. There’s no braggadocio. That stuff happened secretly, because it was criminal and he knew it. So they don’t belong in the same category.
TheLouis C.K. thing, I don’t know all the details. I don’t do deep dives on this, but I did see his statement, which kind of, which [ was ] arresting to me. When he came out and said, ‘ I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth. ’ And I just remember thinking, ‘ Well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that. ’ Like, when I ’m raising my kids, this constant personal responsibility is as important as anything else they learn before they go off in the world.
You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it’s such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly, people get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK-47s to people on terror watch lists, that’s a non-starter.
Having to say no to 'Avatar' was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he’s fantastic, he knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,' I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.'.
'Milk' was another hard one because I was excited ... and I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn, they pushed the schedule and it ran into the slot for 'Green Zone.' Steven Soderbergh’s mantra is, ‘The movie gets the right person; the right actor gets the part,' but I was like, ‘S--t, no. That was my part’. But when I saw 'Milk,' Josh Brolin was so f---ing good that I knew Soderbergh was right.
The rest of the cast had already wrapped and it was just Ridley and I, he got the sound from their side of the scene and he piped it into my helmet, but didn’t tell me he was going to do it. So suddenly I heard the voices of my friends and it struck me I hadn’t heard another voice for years. I’d been communicating by email. these people were coming to save me, these people who had sacrificed a year of their lives for me. And I just wept. It wasn’t planned or forced, it was about him creating an environment. And it was the dream of an actor because you just have to show up and be relaxed.
A lot of us spent our adult lives thinking about two hours and three acts. (We're) now migrating to television going, 'OK, how do I tell this story over 20 hours?' the movie that was my bread and butter for years, the $25 million to $50 million character drama, is just gone. They just don't make that anymore.
My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of 'Project Greenlight' which did not make the show, i am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.