Matt Damon addressed his controversial comments regarding gay actors in an appearance on Tuesday’s episode of “Ellen.”
“I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery. Right?” the actor said in a preview released Monday. “And somebody picked it up and said I said gay actors should get back in the closet. Which is like I mean it’s stupid, but it is painful when things get said that you don’t believe.”
“The Martian” star was making an appearance on the daytime talk show when host Ellen DeGeneres gave him the opportunity to address the criticism he is currently receiving. “I know you and I know you’re not that guy,” the openly gay host told him.
“In the blogosphere there’s no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it,” Damon said. “You know what I mean? You’re just trying to click on your thing. So.”
The actor sparked backlash when he suggested in a recent interview that gay actors would be better off if people didn’t know about their sexuality.
“I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that,” he said. “Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”
The controversy comes just weeks after the hashtag #Damonsplaining began trending on Twitter when he tried to argue against diversity hiring on his HBO reality show “Project Greenlight.”
During the episode, Damon and his fellow producers — including Ben Affleck, the Farrelly brothers and “Dear White People” producer Effie Brown — debated the directing finalists they had to choose from, with Damon arguing that racial diversity should not be a factor.
“When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” he said.