Matt Baume: Should Actors Stay Closeted? [VIDEO]

“Oof. Matt Damon told an interviewer this week that actors should keep their sexuality secret whether straight or gay, which is a little hypocritical considering he’s an open book when it comes to his heterosexuality. I don’t think he’s a homophobe, but imposing a double standard on gay actors is just wrong.”

  • oikos
    • Todd20036

      Right? How many actors wear wedding bands and talk about their husbands and wives on camera back before gay marriage was legal?

      What Damon is saying is gays should remain in the closet. Sorry, but given what the tea baggers are STILL saying about gay people, it’s important to be an example for others, especially since actors have a forum that other people simply aren’t privy to.

      • oikos

        Matt Baume is correct that it is implied in our culture that straight is the default setting. I was at a photography group recently and one person noticed my wedding ring and asked me if my wife was also into photography. I replied that my husband was not a photo enthusiast but he liked my pictures. Silence, pause and then ‘oh I didn’t realize you were gay.’

        • Bj Lincoln

          I am lucky enough to live in an area where no one seems to care if I’m gay and married. Back home is a different story and that silence is deafening.

          • Chucktech

            FUCK them, and their silence, too.

          • oikos

            No one seems to care here either but again people think straight is the default.

        • Chucktech

          “No, you presumptuous asshole, you DIDN’T.”

          At least when this happens to me, there has never been any shock or silence, it’s always been an enthusiastic Oh, how GREAT for you!

          • oikos

            I don’t think it was malicious. It was an older person than me and I get the generational difference and honestly sometimes when I meet gay people they ask me if I’m straight or gay. After that , the guy continued to talk to me so he wasn’t being bigoted.

          • Chucktech

            Well… OK… Still sticks in my craw…

            BTW, in my example, these were baby-boomers (as I am), so they weren’t spry young things, either..

        • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

          Yes, but that experience is exactly what I think Damon was thinking of in his comment. I think it’s different for lesbians than for gay men. Straight men are never really totally cool about it. They can sometimes be very supportive and progressive and “not-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-that” (to borrow Seinfeld’s famous phrase). But my experience my whole life has been that once you come out to them, it changes the relationship forever and though you can sometimes keep being friends or working well together, it’s never again the same as it was when they assumed you were straight. I think it’s the mental image of the buttsex and blowjobs they can never get completely out of their heads.

          • oikos

            I have straight friends I came out to and nothing changed with our friendship and others where it definitely did. I think if a guy is open minded he assumes if you’re straight there’s no chance anything would happen or if you’re gay because he’s not into it. I would guess it has to do with just how comfortable a straight guy is with his own sexuality.

          • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

            Yes, it can definitely still be a good relationship. I’ve noticed a generational shift here with the younger straight guys being a lot more comfortable with it than the older guys. You get the stunned silence and the “wows” and they take some time to think about the new information and, for the most part, they’ll later tell you it makes no difference to them. Sometimes they’ll even try to over-compensate to prove they’re okay with it — one of my co-workers changed right in front of me [and got completely naked; (we work in very dirty environments and our work clothes sometimes get filthy at the end of a job)] after I came out to him, which he never once did in all the years I worked with him before that. But even among the younger guys, all of my experience tells me it’s never completely the same, which tells me that knowing another guy participates in sex with other men always affects them to some degree.

          • oikos

            Probably has to do with where they are on the Kinsey scale.

          • DonnaLee

            Seeing the straight guy taking his gay friend to the prom had me bawling like a little girl. I never expected to see such acceptance in my lifetime. That’s what the younger generation brings to this world.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Mostly the buttsex.

        • BobSF_94117

          Silence, pause and then oh I didn’t realize you were gay.

          You should have said, “Oh, I’m not. My husband is, though.”

          Just to get another pause or two.

          • oikos

            Ha. That would have been really funny.

          • Six Pins Delores


    • Rrhain

      Um…”Big no”?

      • oikos

        To actors staying closeted.

  • pickypecker
    • JCF

      “…and Kansas, she says, is the name of her star!”

  • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

    I can see the artistic argument that an actor needs to be a blank slate that takes on the characteristics of whatever character s/he is playing.

    • Octavio

      Thank you Stella Adler. What’s that got to do with whether one is openly gay or openly heterosexual? 🙂

      • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

        True. Sarah Paulson has been out for a long time now, and as far as I know, only one of her roles was a lesbian character.

    • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

      Every time Damon opines about politics, he is no longer a blank slate.

      • Chucktech

        THIS. Him and his half brained pal, Ben Affleck.

    • Mark_in_MN

      I’ve never really understood this idea that actors should be blanks slates to their audiences. They are people like everyone else. They act for a living. Watching a performance always requires some level of suspension of disbelief.

  • Chucktech

    Oh, well… Actors generally aren’t known for their insight and perspicacity…

    • Octavio

      Thank you.

    • Todd20036

      Points for “Perspicacity”

      • DaveDocSC

        No Shit. I had to look that one up too. In 50+ years of life, I don’t thing I have ever heard that word used. Bravo Chuck..

        • JDM

          Books. You should pick one up sometime.

          • lenvus

            Dick. You don’t have to be what you [presumably] like.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Here’s one for you.
            You may now commence with your abuse.

          • JDM

            You can fix manners. Ignorance is forever.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Then I suggest you get to work.

          • Rrhain

            No, you can fix ignorance.

            It’s stupidity that’s forever.

          • JDM

            In either case, Mr. Micelli is, as we say in polite company, “up shit creek.”

          • Joseph Miceli

            How polite of you to remember a proper form of address. If only you could extend that to basic civility when replying to a post. Then again, based on past experience we all know that you are no better than you should be.

          • JDM

            Oh, I’m no better than I should be. But I’m pretty damn great. And certainly better than your ignorant, misspelling, illiterate dumb ass.

          • CottonBlimp

            I forget who said this but “an ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you only learned 5 seconds ago.”

          • JCF

            That was uncalled for.

          • Joseph Miceli

            It always is. JDM and I go waaaayyyy back. I treasure him, along with Ish and “he who is not to be named.”

          • JDM

            Stop eating the book. Books are for reading, not eating.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I do expect a little bit more from Oscar winning screenwriters and fans of Howard Zinn.

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    Vego-o-Matt-ic! Boy, did Matt slice and dice Matt.

    I agree with Matt Baume, that Damon isn’t a bad person, but damn that was a stupid thing to say. If knowledge of an actor’s sexuality impedes their success, then why doesn’t knowledge of an actor’s political ideas, which Damon has very free to share?

  • Mister Don

    So Mr Damon, when did you come out as a heterosexual?

    • Chucktech

      The minute he came out as a movie star.

    • Mikey

      after he broke up with Ben Affleck.

  • Duh-David

    “Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better”
    ― Harvey Milk

  • crewman

    Matt Damon’s comments are unfortunate. I have always have liked him. I agree with Matt Baume’s comments, there’s no reason to think these are malicious, as much as coming from an unexamined place, perhaps showing some amount of latent homophobia Damon has, or more likely, reflecting an innate sense he has as someone who depends on public approval, that doing something risky is bad. Being visibly gay may turn people off and is bad. That could be the calculus going through his mind. Maybe this will be a teachable moment.

    • oikos

      I agree. I don’t think he is malicious. I think all straight people (even our allies) have some degree of latent homophobia. Not surprising given that until that last decade or so, our culture was intensely homophobic. I think this too is changing and hope this is a teachable moment.

      • scorpiomike

        I think nearly all gay people also have learned to be homophobic. it is nearly impossible to grow up in this society and not “learn” to be homophobic.

        I think most straight people don’t realize that whether they come out and say “I am straight” or not, they are constantly displaying their straightness. Pictures at work, wedding rings, holding hands with their significant other, etc. They don’t think of these things as displaying their straightness, but if a gay person did any of the same things they would think of these things as displaying gayness.

        We probably have a heightened sense of these things because the majority of us worked our buns off to make sure we gave no hints that we were gay as a part of surviving in a homophobic culture

        • oikos

          I think older gay people have learned to be homphobic-those of us 45 or older. I’m 50 and you’re right we did have to work harder to ‘pass’ before we could be comfortable coming out. I don’t think is as difficult now for younger people.

          • scorpiomike

            Probably true. I am nearly 44 and I definitely feel I had to go through a huge difficult process to finally be okay to come out. There is probably lots of variation depending on who surrounds you. I grew up in an evangelical church so I definitely think that influenced my experience. I could see geographic location and political affiliation of those around you also having a huge effect on the experience of young gay people.

            But I think the solution is the opposite of what Matt Damon suggests. If I had some good gay role models as a young person it would have been so much easier. I recall being convinced I was not gay (even though men turned me on) because I had been trained to understand that gay people are evil, dirty, dangerous, and immoral. I knew I was none of those things and I had no positive examples of gay people.

          • oikos

            Very true. Role models make all of the difference which is why Matt Damon is wrong. Roles models mean less gay kids dead from suicide and feelings of low self esteem about who they are.

  • anne marie in philly

    HELL NO! to paraphrase an old line, “say it loud, I’m gay and I’m proud!”

  • Cousin Bleh

    That’s not actually what Matt Damon said. His exact quote was, “I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” which is not saying they shouldn’t come out.

    He also said actors are better when you know less about them. When you think about an actor like Tom Cruise, whom no one can dissociate his performances from his crazy Scientology antics anymore, is actually a somewhat true statement.

    • mwest

      Why did you leave off the rest of his quote.

      “In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period,” he said. “And sexuality is a huge part of that. 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.”

      That sounds like he is advocating for people to remain in the closet.

      • Blake Jordan

        And then ignores the fact that he (and most other straight actors) flaunt their opposite sex significant others.

        • Cousin Bleh

          Alright, I’ll play. Name Matt Damon’s significant other WITHOUT GOOGLING.

          • Mikey

            it doesn’t matter whether we can name his wife or not. He mentions her and his children regularly during interviews. That’s all that really matters in this particular context.

            There are probably a lot of people who couldn’t name Ellen’s wife if you asked them… but the major difference between Matt Damon’s wife and Ellen’s wife is the latter’s was a well-known actress BEFORE getting married.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Sorry, I’m just going to go ahead and ignore every comment coming from the person who says Tom Cruise is “an incredibly kind, generous and caring person.” Not sorry.

          • Mikey

            at least you were honest and demonstrated the depth of your own ignorance and intolerance.
            It makes it that much easier to ignore your comments from now on as well.

          • Blake Jordan

            I do not tend to remember the detailed facts about celebrities, particularly straight ones, but I do recall seeing photos of them together at a premier recently…
            I believe her name is Luciana???

            Anyway, the fact that we know he has a wife because he takes her everywhere means he is open about his sexuality.
            Non-straight actors should be allowed the same respect.

          • Cousin Bleh

            That’s a pretty far cry from “flaunting” their relationship and “shoving her down our throats.”

            I’ll concede that celebrities like Brad and Angelina and of course Tom Cruise and whoever he’s currently paying to marry him make their relationships part of their brand. They are constantly talking about it. You only see pics of them together.

            But until today, I have never seen a picture of Matt Damon’s wife before. I had no idea he was married to a woman from Argentina, and I would have remembered that because my favorite athlete is Argentine. The only thing I remember about his dates to awards ceremonies is that he took his mother.

          • Rrhain

            Then you quite literally haven’t been paying attention.

            Damon talks about her all the time.

            In fact, in the very same interview where he said there should be a “mystery” about an actor’s sexuality, he talked about his wife and kids.

            The last time he was on Ellen, he gushed about his wife.

            Apparently, the love that dare not speak its name cannot shut up about it.

          • Cousin Bleh

            You’re right about one thing, I don’t pay attention to celebrity gossip. That’s pretty far beneath me. You seem really engaged in it though.

            That said, it’s clear from the Guardian article, which I did read, that the writer asked him about his family. He doesn’t actually talk specifics about his wife and kids. The writer fills in those details.

          • Rrhain


            I see…because something is not important to *you,* that means it isn’t important at all. And anybody who bothered to do their homework regarding a topic before deciding to talk about it is to be denigrated if the topic is something that isn’t important.

            Is there a reason why you are so “engaged” in this topic that you don’t pay attention to? And more importantly, what is your justification for thinking that you have something useful to say regarding a topic that you don’t pay attention to?

            That said, it’s clear from the Guardian article, which you didn’t read, that Damon and the interviewer are both interested in talking about his sexuality. As the interviewer notes, “nothing is out of bounds.”

            And then there’s his previous appearance on Ellen. And his interviews talking about his perfect wife. And the pictures of him and his wife (you did see the one that accompanied the article, did you not?)

            Is there a reason you didn’t do your homework before engaging in a discussion about a topic you don’t pay attention to?

          • Cousin Bleh

            Isn’t there a Kardashians episode on right now you should be watching?

          • Rrhain


          • JCF

            I know she’s Latina, but couldn’t name her.

      • Cousin Bleh

        I addressed that quote in my second paragraph. He’s not advocating anything. He’s saying the audience appreciates a performance more when they know nothing about the actor.

        • mwest

          No, he’s specifically saying the thing you don’t need to know about an actor is his sexuality.

          • Cousin Bleh

            No, he doesn’t. He says sexuality is part of that.

            Can you read?

          • Todd20036

            You don’t have to come out if you are straight. You DO have to come out if you are gay.
            So if you don’t come out at all, people aren’t going to think your orientation is some sort of mystery. They are going to assume you are straight.
            So if no one comes out, people aren’t going to assume some people are gay, they are going to assume all the closeted people are straight, which leads to the young gay person as feeling isolated and alone because no one feels like he/she does.
            Your logic seriously fails.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Maybe you do, but I don’t automatically assume everyone is straight.

          • Todd20036

            That’s because you aren’t straight.

          • mwest

            Sexuality is a part of that that he thinks people should hide. The question is can you read?

            Also there’s no question that knowing everything there is to know about a persons sexuality, as long as they’re straight have nothing to do with box office or hiring.

            We know everything there is to know about Jennifer Lawrence’s sex life with the pictures that go with it yet she’s a completely in demand actress.

            We know everything about Ben Affleck, his dating history, his marriage, his ex wife and his sleeping with the nanny yet he’s a completely in demand actor.

            Leonardo Dicaprio goes through Victoria Secret models dating all of them, several at a time, interchangeably. Yet this is an actor that gets hired and gets nominated for Oscars.

            The fact is it’s a lie. Knowing if someone is straight and if someone is having sex and having affairs with other straight people does not affect anything in Hollywood. The more publicity the better in that case.

            But knowing that Matt Bomer is married to a man does affect his getting hired. That’s why what Matt Damon is saying is such bunk. The people he thinks shouldn’t be open about their sexuality for their job sake is obviously gay people.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Dude, do you realize you’re agreeing with Matt Damon?

            What he said in the Guardian interview is exactly what you’re arguing. He’s saying that it’s difficult for gay actors to come out because there’s a double standard in Hollywood, which is what you just described.

          • mwest

            It’s a given that coming out affects acting careers but it’s not then up to Matt Damon to advise gay men to stay in the closet because of that. His advice to stay hidden comes from a position of privilege, from someone who doesn’t have to hide his wife and 4 children.

            what’s true today does not mean always true in the future. The more actors who do take the chance to come out, the more it becomes not a big deal. Someone has to be the first and someone has to get hired. That’s what Viola Davis was pointing out in her speech at the Emmy–hire people like me and you’ll see.

            What Matt Damon should have said was not stay in the closet but come out come out wherever you are. He should have used his clout and his buddy’s clout to say that people like them who’re in the position to write movies and make movies will consider hiring out gay actors.

            Coming out is more than about one’s career. It’s about peace of mind and freedom to be like anyone else in this country and a Matt Damon really isn’t in a position to give advice on this. Maybe the person we need to know less about is him.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Sigh. He’s not advising anyone to stay in the closet. He’s describing why people don’t come out. That’s my whole point.

          • Rrhain

            Except he directly told people to stay in the closet.

            He started off well enough by recognizing that despite supposedly being this grand bastion of liberalness and deviant sexuality, Hollywood is also homophobic and thus gay actors need to deal with things that straight actors don’t.

            And then he went off the rails and started talking about “mystery” and how “people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality.”

            That’s a direct statement that gay people need to stay in the closet. Let us not play dumb and pretend that because he did not use the specific words, “stay in the closet,” that somehow means he wasn’t telling gay people to stay in the closet.

            Funny how despite the fact that everybody knows he’s straight because of his incessant need to talk about his wife (in the very same interview he tells gays to stay in the closet, he gushes about his wife), he got hired to play a gay man. Was he just lucky? That despite having “ruined the mystery” by declaring to the world his heterosexuality, he managed to eke out the part from all those other, more “mysterious” actors?

          • Cousin Bleh

            Please provide the “gushing” quote.

          • Rrhain

            You mean you didn’t read the article? Is there a reason you didn’t do your homework?

            The article publishes a picture of him and his wife, mentions his wife, and he talks about how he’s “happily married” and then goes on to talk about how “normal” his life is.

            And in a great deal of irony, the interviewer points out that this “normality” of Damon’s is his cachet. The interviewer even directly states:

            “It’s nice, talking to Damon. Unlike many actors, he answers questions with a reflective openness. There is a feeling that nothing is out of bounds.”

            And then, just a bit later, Damon’s all about “mystery.”

            Damn…there I go again doing your homework for you.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Please, Mary. I know gushing.

            That’s not gushing.

          • Rrhain

            How would you know? You don’t pay attention to this sort of thing.

          • Cousin Bleh

            “An Out of Work Actor for Hire”

            Well, that explains a lot.

          • Rrhain

            And thus, you show how little you know about, well, anything.

            You do understand the phrase “out of work actor,” yes?

            Question: Do you think that makes me more or less knowledgeable about the workings of the entertainment industry?

          • Cousin Bleh

            The “out of work” part would certainly indicate you don’t know enough. Then again, you may just be lacking for roles because of your unpleasant personality.

          • Rrhain

            You really have no idea how the entertainment business works, do you? Do you remember a TV show on Bravo, “The It Factor”? Two seasons of it. One in New York, the other in LA. It followed actors around as they tried to “make it.” In the New York season, it included Daisy Eagan. You may remember her from her Tony-award-winning performance in “The Secret Garden.” Well, here she was, 10 years later, trying to find work. She’d go to auditions and people were still expecting an 11-year-old girl to walk through the door.

            In the LA version, Jeremy Remmer was one of them. You may know him from those Avengers movies. At the time, his big claim to fame was playing Jeffrey Dahmer.

            They had a title card at the beginning (and I’m paraphrasing). There are 200,000 actors in New York. 2% of them earn enough to make a living at it.

            The typical state of an actor is to be “out of work.” Even when you’re making money, you’re still “out of work” because you’re working on your next gig. That commercial is nice and you’ll get your residual check, but the shoot was only a couple days. That film was nice, but now you’re working on your next one. The audition process for that play lasted months (during which time you need to keep yourself available) and if you actually do get cast…let’s hope it gets a good run. You made a few pilots, but if they don’t get picked up, you’re back on the streets working up the next gig.

            Right now? Matt Damon is about to be out of work. The “untitled Jason Bourne sequel” is filming, but “The Great Wall” is in post-production and “Downsizing” is in pre-production. He’ll be in limbo between. It’s good that he’s got a job lined up, but it hasn’t happened yet. There was that time between “We Bought a Zoo” and “Behind the Candelabra” where he had one TV appearance on Saturday Night Live, one other appearance on House of Lies, and one movie, “Promised Land.” He was “out of work” for the rest of that time.

            Now, if you want to wave your dick at me, you go right ahead. You’ll understand while I point and laugh.

            Is there a reason why you keep pretending like you know what you’re talking about?

      • Joseph Miceli

        It is worse: it is a false equivalency. When I see the Rock or John Cena I assume they are heterosexual even if they don’t specifically say so. There is no “mystery.”
        Does an actor’s publicity image affect their performance? With a real actor and a real script…no. When you have these body builders starring in action movies where the whole thing is a stereotype….I’m not sure.
        I guess what I’m saying is that it DOES matter if the star is gay and depending on the type of acting they do they may take a career hit…but that it shouldn’t matter and they shouldn’t suffer for it and we have a long way to go.

      • Brian in Valdosta

        It also seems to perpetuate the odd notion that straight actors can somehow “play gay” convincingly in a film, but gay actors can’t really get away with it because if they do not hide their sexuality then the audience won’t buy into the character.

        Which is bullshit, of course. Just as Neil Patrick Harris.

        It’s a horrible double standard.

    • Chucktech

      Well, I’ll certainly admit that, knowing what I know about Tom Cruise, I have a built-in strong prejudice against any of his work. Unfair? Sure. But when his mug is up on that silver screen, I can’t but think “Asshole…

      • Mikey

        and unfortunately, despite what you “know” about Tom Cruise, he’s actually one of the best people in Hollywood (other than that cult he belongs to). The man is truly a “good person” and there are countless examples of it. I’ve found myself torn also between loathing that cult aspect of who he is, and knowing that, dammit, the guy is really incredibly kind, generous, and caring. NO ONE complains about working with him because working with him is always a pleasure. And he is probably the Hollywood personality who makes the greatest efforts for his fans.

        So, choosing between Tom and Matt? I’ll take the cult member before the brainless blonde.

        • oikos

          What about the slave labor he used through Scientology to clean his houses and detail his cars?

          • BobSF_94117

            Hold on. You get minions when you join Scientology?


          • oikos

            You should watch the Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’. The elite Scientology cultists like Cruise do indeed get slaves.

          • BobSF_94117

            So it’s like all the other religions.

          • Cousin Bleh

            If you mean duping millions of small-minded people out or their money, then yes.

          • BobSF_94117

            There’s that, of course. But I meant actual staff. Those pools don’t clean themselves!

          • oikos

            Pretty much.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Only when you reach OT VIII status and learn about Xenu.

          • Mikey

            I DID clearly say “other than that cult he belongs to”.

  • pablo


    Kidding. Don’t really care about his opinion on this matter.

  • Brad Anderson-Smith

    Actually, what he said was that that, gay or straight, the less you know about an actor the better. Mystery helps in an audience’s ability to imagine the actor in a given role. He was saying that now actor should have to disclose information about their personal lives.

    • oikos

      He should practice what he preaches then or he is an ineffective spokesperson for this topic.

      • Blake Jordan

        Well it is too late for MD, he has forced his wife “down out throats” at his movie premiers, etcetera…

    • mwest

      Again I find it helpful to give the exact quote instead of whitewashing what he actually said because what he’s referring to specifically is about your sexuality.

      “In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period,” he said. “And sexuality is a huge part of that. 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.”

  • Sean Taylor

    From my understanding he was commenting on the state of affairs in Hollywood for actors who come out, not encessarily offering advice. It’s strange how he’s suddenly become a misinformation target. I can’t defend the guy since I don’t know him or his motivations but wtf is it with Americans and their build ’em up so we can tear ’em dow mentality? It’s embarrassing.

    • Chucktech

      That, my dear, for better or worse, is what’s known as “Show biz”…

      • Sean Taylor

        I agree but what he said is totally something an actor would say when discussing acting, and it IS an issue they would and should think about. I’m not really in favor of censoring open honest and freewheeling discussions without carefully choosing our words. He wasnt’t saying actors should stay in the closet at all, but that’s what he’s being attacekd for. I just wish stories were actually about what folks did instead of what was misconstrued.

        • JW Swift

          So if he believes that an actor’s personal life, in particular their sexuality, is better left a mystery, then why does he wear his sexuality on his sleeve and not keep his wife and kids a secret?

          • Sean Taylor

            probably because he knows I’d be hanging around his house licking the windows if I wasn’t sure he was heterosexual

  • Queequeg

    I’ve been out since my early twenties, which is over 45 years ago, so I believe that it is best to live your life openly. Having said that, I don’t believe that Matt Damon is actually telling actors to remain closeted. He is saying, probably factually, that, once an actor is out, Hollywood may offer him fewer roles. Straight actors play gay characters all the time, but, somehow, Hollywood and the public have a double standard when an out gay actor plays a straight role. There are notable exceptions to the rule, such as Matt Bomer or Neil Patrick Harris, but I think that Damon is saying that homophobia exists in Hollywood. He is not condoning it. I admire actors like Ian McClellan, Zachary Quinto for coming out, but generally they don’t get the traditional leading man type roles. I think, for the sake of society, none of us should hide, but we know there are consequences to the individual. I believe that is all that Matt Damon said. Perhaps he could have been more articulate in his statement. Let’s not make Matt Damon an enemy, because he is not.

    • grobi

      Matt Bomer and Neil Patrick Harris are actually pretty bad examples . Both got their big roles as “straight” men . Now Matt Bomer can’t get a job that’s not a stripper or involves Ryan Murphy and Neil Patrick Harris has turned into a show host .

      • Queequeg

        Then that proves Matt Damon’s point. I’d also include Zachary Quinto, who also gets parts on Ryan Murphy’s shows, and plays Spock in the Star Trek films. So there really are no out gay actors who get starring roles, yet everyone is trashing Matt Damon for his comments.

  • Baron Ochs

    Oops, somebody said something politically incorrect. Ready, set, pounce, Mr. Baume, arbiter and self-appointed grand defender of everything remotely homosexual.

    • Mikey

      Oops, someone said something that carries importance for a large portion of the LGBT population. Ready, set, pounce, Mr Baron Ochs, arbiter of not much and self-loathing homosexual.

      Matt Damon didn’t say something “politically incorrect”. He said something that is at the very least offensive.

      Matt Baume is perfectly entitled to respond, and he is absolutely correct in his evaluation of the situation.

      If you cannot see that then you have some issue that need to be dealt with before you are allowed out in public without an escort.

  • Stev84

    He probably has a point that actors might be more interesting if less were known about them. But while there are some intensely private actors, most are very open about their lives. Sometimes by choice, but often just because they are hunted by the tabloid press.

  • LovesIrony

    says the tabloid man of no mystery what so ever

  • Ginger Snap

    Honestly I hat no idea Mat Damon was married. I watch movies and I never read tabloid rags or watch tabloid TV. So when did Mat and Ben break up. LOL

    • Gindy51

      Right after Dogma.

  • Timo

    Assuming Damon actually said what is being attributed to him, then I agree that he was wrong. But based on his past performance, I don’t trust Matt Baume to present the facts accurately.

    • oikos

      Specifics needed. What exactly has Matt done or said that is dishonest?

    • jomicur

      Keeping track of current news is only slightly harder than sitting back and making silly, ill-informed judgments.

      • Part two of that comment appears to be directed at the veracity of Baume. The comment toward Damon acknowledges this could be a misunderstanding. How is that video apropos? Are you posting the video to point out that Baume didn’t research adequately research this or some sort of flippant attitude of the OP?

        • jomicur

          “Assuming Damon actually said what is being attributed to him..” He said it. He acknowledges it. The clip is of him trying to explain it away. I don’t think Damon is a homophobe, just not very bright. But automatically assuming that Matt Baume is either lying or deliberately misrepresenting is both pointless and flat-out wrong.

        • Steven Leahy

          I think it was flippant towards the OP 🙂

  • BobSF_94117

    Ellen’s success isn’t proof of how great it is to come out. It’s evidence of how talented and tenacious she is.

  • CJAS

    That’s twice in a matter of days. Damon would wise to go back to Harvard and gain a better his understanding of his privilege, or just stop talking politics.

  • Should gay actors come out? Nope. That’s their decision. Although more visibility of gay people would continue to benefit our community as a whole, they didn’t sign up to be representatives of the gay community nor should they be required to do so, nor should they be outed.

    I’m also on the fence about outing. I don’t care for the outing of anyone simply for the sake of outing them. It seems like reverse homophobia to me and the equivalent of using the word gay as a shaming pejorative. I have a different opinion on closeted gay people who seek to keep the community marginalized through actions or words, namely politicians and conservative talking heads. In that case, hell yes. Out them for the sake of exposing the hypocrisy and to silence them as well as to prevent them from causing further damage, but not to shame for being gay.

  • Steven Leahy

    I think actors, straight or gay, should be who or what they are and not hide an honest and integral part of their being. He may have said “straight or gay” but it’s no secret we’re really talking only “gay” here because straight actors have always been free to be open about who they are and to express that publicly, and there’s never been any stigma around that.

    I am hoping the dark days of the closet are falling further and further behind us and we’re not going back THERE again, and actors are not special or holy – they’re people, like everyone else. It also sends the message that homosexuality is bad or undesirable, something to be ashamed of, and it also deprives gay people, especially gay youth, of much-needed, potentially influential role models. As I see it, there’s nothing to be gained about actors or anyone else being in the “closet”

    • I agree with your comment, and a supplement to my comment below, I also don’t think that people hiding in the closet is the best thing for our community, but I don’t want to see them dragged out of the closet, except for those who operate from on a basis of hypocrisy. IMO, the logistics of when and how is a personal choice.

    • jomicur

      “Stay in the closet because coming out will hurt your career” is something that has been said to gay people in every profession, not just acting. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, people in the arts…hell even auto mechanics and plumbers. We’ve all heard it and, as the present discussion demonstrates, we’re still </i?hearing it. And there was a time when it was almost universally true. But that was in the past. Thanks to a lot of brave pioneers, it is less and less so. Damon needs to move on into the contemporary world.

      • Steven Leahy

        You’re right. It’s offensive and I really resent (supposedly) straight actors or whomever lecturing us on whether or not we should be “out” or not based on what THEY think is best for us. It perpetuates the notion that there’s something wrong or shameful about being gay.

        When LG people do the EXACT same things that their straight hetero counterparts do everyday without a thought, like holding hands, giving a quick kiss in public, talking about their kids, etc, we’re seen as militant and in-your-face. There’s a HUGE double standard here and when we get lectures about this stuff from people like Damon with supposedly good intentions, all they’re doing is reinforcing homophobia and bigotry.

  • WNY

    Matt was misquoted or taken out of context…

    • WNY

      I love Ellen’s jokes about it at the end..

    • Steven Leahy

      I think Damon is unintentionally making it worse. I appreciate the “not wanting to treat it like it’s a disease” and I think his motives are perfectly honorable there – but I as a gay guy am perfectly Ok with him saying he’s straight if he really is….he doesn’t need to go to great lengths to prove he’s not a homophobe.

      What Damon DOESN’T get is that straight actors (like straight people in general) unintentionally ‘announce” their sexuality every day by being seeing public with their significant other, talking about family and kids, having pictures of the wife and kids hanging around, etc.

      I think “hiding” who were are only further stigmatizes the notion of being openly gay because it’s assumed as a default in our society that you’re a hetero unless shown to be otherwise. I think that’s what Baume was saying.

      • Further proof that people who don’t have a dog in the race, such as straight actors or the pope, should stay the fuck out of these matters.

      • David From Canada

        The more you try to explain away your comments, the deeper you sink into the mud. Methinks that perhaps Matt Damon has a secret………..
        “Once I had a Secret Love,
        That lived within the heart of me………”

  • Steven Leahy

    Once again, Matt Baume is right on target.

  • DesertSun59

    Matt Damon gave a perfectly fine explanation of this ‘issue’ on Ellen.

  • JaniceInToronto

    I wonder if Matt Damon will ever see this vlog. He really needs to understand what he’s implying with his ideas.

  • Larry Ft Pierce

    Maybe he IS keeping his sexuality secret?

  • j.martindale

    He is talking about career problems for actors. I understand the hesitation of people to jeopardize their jobs by coming out. It is an individual choice that is up to every gay person, despite the fact that I believe the closet is unhealthy and that we progress as a community when people are honest about their sexual orientation. However, for me, at least, it was the most important and honest thing I ever did, and I could not imagine going back in the closet. I think it would be wise of Matt to keep his opinions about coming out to himself, though.

  • DisT

    Yes, new gay actors should come out and be relegated to trivial movie roles.

    • jomicur

      Most actors–the overwhelming majority of them–are cast in character roles. And most of them are fine with it. The assumption that the only thing an actor could possibly want is to be cast in Bruce Willis-y action leads is shaky at best. Moreover any number of out actors are being cast in leads. Jonathan Groff comes to mind at once.

  • SFHarry

    Plain and simple, straight people really don’t get that they talk about their sexuality all the time. This was a good lesson for Matt Damon and hopefully millions of other people. It definitely is newsworthy but I think we can forgive him and move on.

  • Circle Thomas

    Matt “Ass-Face” Damon needs to shut his mouth. Between this and his racist man-splaining to a Black female movie producer about racism in Hollywood, he’s become insufferable. I never want to see another of his movies again.

  • Happy Dance

    Come out, come out wherever you are!!

  • yowsuh123

    Recall when the Liberace movie was about to debut? Damon scheduled and greatly publicized a ceremony renewing his marital vows in order to make sure everyone knew that, despite his character’s love affair with the famed pianist, he is HETEROSEXUAL. That stated, none of his recent remarks surprise me.

  • Six Pins Delores

    “My boys wicked smaht”.

  • BeaverTales

    Unless you have good reason to be ashamed of who you are, don’t act ashamed. Don’t make a bigots job any easier than it already is.

    It should be okay for you to be you. You just want to love and be loved. It shouldn’t be okay to be them. Being a hater is a shitty way to live, and should be called out as such.

  • Puckfair52

    They get older they change! So I guess dating and awards shows where the camera shows the significant other are all out of the question. Poorly thought out Matt!

  • Ellen took him to task and its all ok now…

  • M Guy

    That’s a lot of White, straight, male privilege speaking.

  • Michael C

    Dear @mattbaume,

    I would like to gay marry the things you say.