Actor Matt Damon sounded off on President Donald Trump and the state of racism in America in an extensive interview this week, explaining that he found the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this month “absolutely abhorrent” and that he underestimated the extent of the racist attitudes in the country at large.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the 46-year-old actor said his upcoming film Suburbicon — a 1950s-set thriller about a family man in the suburbs driven to the brink by his town’s “underbelly” of violence and deceit — has taken on new significance following the events in Charlottesville, in which one woman was killed and more than a dozen injured when white nationalist protesters faced off with so-called “Antifa” counter-protesters.
“We made the movie last year and it’s incredible to see what’s happened in Charlottesville. It’s horrible,” Damon told THR. “A lot of people, myself included, are really waking up to the extent of the existing racism, and it’s so much worse than I naively thought. I just feel naïve at this point.”
Damon added that he was shocked to see footage of the white nationalist protesters hoisting Tiki torches and shouting anti-Semitic slogans during the Charlottesville protests, explaining that he believed the next generation of Americans would be more inclusive and open.
“Then the night that the President [made his] ‘many sides’ comment was absolutely abhorrent,” he said. “Sadly, I feel the movie was made at the right time.”
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