Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shut Up, Matt Damon: The Actor Argues Gay Actors Should Stay in the Closet - The Daily Beast

Shut Up, Matt Damon: The Actor Argues Gay Actors Should Stay in the Closet - The Daily Beast:

The article is essentially a cherry picked collection of quotes that are interpreted as a homophobic rant. Not at all. It just seems to be open season on Damon. What  actually said was this;"“I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly... But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. 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.” Those who were expecting a hate rant that the headline implied was there are sure to be disappointed. 

Damon does have a problem with bluntness, I suppose, something that comes with being very successful , critically acclaimed as an actor and being, as well, a successful producer. I understand those taking chagrin, but Damon's point, I think, is that the audience that pays money to see you in roles wants to see you inhabit the roles you take on. A certain amount of anonymity keeps the attention on where it should be, whether one is good at the craft. George Clooney, as straight male who does not need the limelight in which to thrive, does well in his career. Mel Gibson , a belligerent drunk , a radical and irrational  conservative Catholic homophobe and antisemite , destroyed his career by allow too much of his private life, demons and all, over shadow his film work. Tom Cruise's box office pull suffered a hit of its own whenever he becomes too much of the Public Face of his controversial religion and forever problematic religion/cult Scientology, although he has recovered somewhat.

There is no hard and fast rule , of course. Neil Patrick Harris , Ellen DeGeneres, Rosy O'Donnell and Ian McKellen all have thriving careers. My point , though, is that what Damon's remarks are hardly homophobic , that what he expressed seemed a more provisional position that can "evolve". Damon contributed to a conversation and conversations, if they are conversations at all, are for discussants to learn what the other has to say and perhaps progress further in the task of learning tolerence ,patience and acceptance of our fellow citizens.Kevin Fallon, a cut-rate moralist and cheap shot artist, has no interest in discussion of any kind; there is the tone of some one trying to incite a lynching. He desires not edification, but rather silence. What can you expect from someone who writes a column headlined "Shut Up Matt Damon..." ? That's the style of someone who was told too often to shut up when they were a kid asking questions about the what, why and how regarding a world that seemed less fair and equitable than the story books promised they would be. This is the tone of someone who's default setting is take offense and scold others for falling short of ideal standards of personality and conduct. This is the tone of someone who uses politic rhetoric as an armor to disguise their own lack of originality and who seeks to justify their discontent by indulging in a insubstantially provoked sensationism. This is the what the internet has done to the lot of us, turned us into bullies who've never picked up a stick, a rock, or clenched a fist. Pathetic.

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