The Film Pigs Podcast #71: Damonsplaining Matt Damon

FilmPigs_AlbumArtV4_Podcast_1400You didn’t think we could do it, but we did it! We got a podcast recorded for September! You don’t have to say it, we know we’re heroes! This episode, we take on the hot-button issue of the dumb things Matt Damon has been saying recently. Because he’s starting to sound like an old man yelling at kids on his lawn. Also, there’s water on Mars so he should be fine there.

This time, on a very special episode of The Film Pigs Podcast:

  • Intro
  • Movie News
  • Host Stephen J. Skelton presents this episode’s theme: Damonsplaining Matt Damon
  • Movie Jail
  • The Nic Cage Memorial Bizarre Line Reading
  • Game: Damonsplain This!
  • The Bottom 5
  • A Moment of Positivity
  • Outro

8 thoughts on “The Film Pigs Podcast #71: Damonsplaining Matt Damon”

  1. In examining Matt Damon’s career you could also do the same for Brad Pitt. He’s also known as a megastar but he has A LOT of bombs to his name.

    Granted, he’s had more INTERESTING failures than Damon but it’s still a long way from someone like Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise, who had decades-long runs of number one movies.

    I like Matt Damon. I know someone who was in a low-level position on a TV show he was a guest on (promoting the third BOURNE movie, I believe) and she said he was a complete gentleman to everyone on the staff.

    1. Like I said in the podcast, I have no doubt Damon is a decent human being, but his recent string of comments and his boilerplate non-apology apologies for them struck me as jarringly out of place/out of touch for a celebrity with his reputation. Hopefully, this was just a weird time for him and he won’t go full Gibson in the future.

  2. Congrats on the podcast. It is good. Congrats on You’re the Worst — it is my favorite show.

    But you guys are seriously misinformed on this. Did you watch the show? Did you stop to think about what he was saying, for even a single second? At the point in the show where this happens, they are trying to debate who did the best job — who’s work was the best. Literally. The candidates turned in their film, the group watched the films, and then the filmmakers are coming in to interview with the group one by one. The filmmakers, by the way, are representative of who is trying to make movies these days–across gender and background.

    But in the middle of the discussion, that ridiculous producer suggests that race, background, and gender *should be a factor in considering who the did the best film*!!!! It is straight up ridiculous. But because it’s all happening on camera, everyone else kind of looks around and politely treats it as a real suggestion until Matt finally pulls the plug — quite rightly — and says his now infamous quote, which when you take it out of context, sounds bad, which is why it was taken out of context. The show itself does as much as it can to sound byte it, as you would expect from a reality show.

    But he’s absolutely right. You don’t give someone a film budget *because* they are “diverse”. You give someone a film budget regardless of their background, because they have talent. When you’re casting the show, however, there may be roles that are very specifically of a particular race — especially in historical biopics. 🙂

    What needs to change in hollywood casting is when a part doesn’t have to be of any particular race, and the jobs all go to pretty white people. That sucks. No one wants that. But don’t confuse, even for a second, that problem with the bat-shit crazy suggestion that producer made on Matt’s show.

    This is why his apology is boilerplate: He shouldn’t have to be sorry for this, but he also doesn’t want to defend it, because he’ll be invariably defending himself against people who didn’t watch the show, didn’t understand what was happening in that moment of the show, because of the editing, and he’ll just dig himself in deeper when he did nothing wrong in the first place.

    It really felt like you hadn’t seen the show, in your podcast, or if you did, you didn’t understand what was going on.

    1. Yes I watched the show and thought about it and understood it. However, I disagree with your statement that the candidates are representative of who is trying to make movies these days in regard to gender/background. The candidates were by a large margin white men and while this is the norm in Hollywood, it simply is not representative of the diverse kinds of people who want to break into Hollywood. Even the producing group choosing the winner is made up of mostly white guys. I don’t subscribe to the theory that there is no bias and it’s just happenstance that mostly white men want to make movies in Hollywood.

      Damon’s statement was dumb because it makes no sense. By the logic of his statement, you hire only on merit for behind the camera but in front of the camera it’s okay to hire less than the best in the name of diversity. As if people from different backgrounds and experiences wouldn’t bring different perspectives when making a movie. In this moment he didn’t make an argument (that he easily could have) for Mann or any of the other white male directors having such a superior skill set making them the obvious choice, he blatantly said he didn’t want to even consider the diversity issue. He acknowledged the issue and then essentially said he wasn’t going to do anything about it. Which is why he had to backtrack and pull his foot out of his mouth.

      And if you’re trying to make a reality show about movie production in Hollywood basing all your decisions solely on merit (or your definition of merit), you’re going to run into issues like this because while the whole merit thing is a lovely idea, the real world just doesn’t work that way. Especially for marginalized groups of people. And you will get called out on it.

      Effie Brown’s response to the situation was a perfectly reasonable request to simply take an extra moment to consider their choices from a different perspective. I’m not sure how to respond to your description of her as “bat-shit crazy.” She was calm, assertive, and professional throughout the entire episode, so your characterization of her seems questionable. This is where I feel like you didn’t understand what was going on.

    2. I did watch the show, but only after the controversy because I wanted to understand what all the ruckus was about. I agree that the internet police can go overboard sometimes, but I think in this instance it is worth talking about. The main point I heard in all the ramblings was that while rich white Hollywood liberals all agree that there is a lack of diversity in show business, when it comes down to their own individual work they often don’t feel like it is their responsibility. And that is what perpetuates the problem. If it isn’t Matt Damon’s responsibility, then whose is it? He is a powerful person that can change things if he starts making different choices. If none of your ethnically diverse candidates aren’t cutting the mustard, then maybe you aren’t looking very hard. They do certainly exist.

      What I found super odd was that so soon after this controversy came his statements about homosexual actors staying in the closet. These are odd things for a supposedly politically progressive person to be saying. And that is why we did the podcast.

      Thanks for listening and watching!

      1. Todd! Your character on you’re the worst is the best. Love. Good luck with fuzz track city! Can’t wait to see it.

        You and Skelton are dead wrong, though. In this particular instance, Damon was insisting the the contest be talent driven first, and blind to color and sex. The contest submissions *were* open to anyone. You can argue that Hollywood itself is biased, but I doubt Matt and Ben were watching the submissions and after every viewing, asking, “is this a white guy?” Which is *why* he gets so annoyed when Effie is trying to base the talent contest on background. Take it from someone who has been told to hire a woman, whether she’s the most qualified enough–it’s crazy fucking annoying. Especially when you care about the thing you’re trying to make.

        Not sure what the in the closet thing was about. Agree that’s weird.

        Anyway, we need a Vernon bottle episode.

        1. – Trying to determine the best talent to tell stories where the panel of judges are almost exclusively rich white dudes is flawed to begin with, which is something Damon doesn’t see.
          – I agree being forced into choices is aggravating, but whenever someone claims they can’t find a qualified candidate who isn’t a man I generally think they’re not looking hard enough.
          – My vote is for a Vernon web series about his office consultations.

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