In an interview with the Guardian, Damon made remarks about fellow actor Rupert Everett, suggesting he was less successful because he came out as gay.
In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. I remember thinking and saying, Rupert Everett was openly gay and this guy – more handsome than anybody, a classically trained actor – it’s tough to make the argument that he didn’t take a hit for being out.”
He later attempted to clarify the comments, on the Ellen DeGeneres show, he said:
I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery. Right? 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.
In the blogosphere there’s no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it. You know what I mean? You’re just trying to click on your thing.”
Whoopi Goldberg, who is straight but has played a lesbian a number of times, opened up about the claims on the View.
I’ll tell you this… I played a gay woman in Colour Purple, a man in The Associate, and we’re actors. We’re supposed to be able to play everything and play it convincingly
So I don’t think whether you know or think or believe I’m gay has anything to do with what my abilities are. As an actor, that’s how I feel.”
Raven pointed out that it’s pretty much impossible for an actor to stay closeted by choice and maintain a certain “mystique” in Hollywood today, given the rise of social media and the public’s insatiable desire to “out” people.
People tell your business whether you tell your business or not,” Goldberg added. “And in terms of ‘mystique’ and all of that stuff, you used to be able to make that choice for yourself.”
Whoopi Goldberg added:
You can have your privacy, but you’re outed. People out you. People tell your business, whether you tell your business or not. In terms of mystique and all of that stuff, you used to be able to make that choice for yourself. I don’t know why everyone gives out, and I don’t think it has anything to do with how I view you as an actor.”
Watch the clip below: