Matt Damon tells Ellen DeGeneres his comments about gay actors staying in the closet were taken out of context

The actor said it was "painful" when his words were taken out of context in a Guardian interview

Chris Mandle
Tuesday 29 September 2015 13:13 BST

Matt Damon appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to clarify comments he made earlier in the week regarding actors talking about their sexuality, after he came under fire for insinuating that men and women should stay in the closet if they wish to be taken seriously in the profession.

Damon had been talking to The Guardian to promote his new film, The Martian, when he discussed being thrust in the spotlight along with Good Will Hunting co-writer Ben Affleck after rumours emerged that the two were secretly dating.

His remark that Rupert Everett "took a hit" professionally by choosing to come out was heavily criticised for implying gay actors couldn’t survive in the industry. He also said "I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that," causing a number of articles to condemn Damon for 'mansplaining' homosexuality to the gay community.

Damon told DeGeneres, however, that the claims he ‘warned’ actors about coming out publicly were “stupid” and that his words were taken out of context.

“I was talking about actors [being] more effective when you know less about their personal lives,” he explains.

“I said this thing to The Guardian that got twisted… I said that actors are more effective when they’re a mystery.

“And somebody picked it up and said that I’d said ‘Gay actors should get back in the closet’,” he adds, causing the audience to start laughing.

Damon went on to criticise online media for being allowed to take things out of context.

“It’s painful when things get said that you don’t believe [in],” he said. “In the blogosphere, there’s no penalty for, you know, taking the ball and running with it. You’re just trying to get people to click on your ‘thing’.”

DeGeneres agreed with him, before joking that she was “shocked” Damon and Affleck weren’t actually gay, adding that if he wanted to keep his relationship with Affleck secret she wouldn’t say anything.

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