Matt Damon has spoken out to defend his role in The Great Wall once again, calling the allegations the movie is whitewashed “outrageous” and an issue in the age of fake news.
In an interview with AP, Damon said that he takes the “whole idea of whitewashing very seriously” and that when he signed onto The Great Wall, he didn’t take away the role from an Asian actor. Nor, Damon continued, was the role written specifically for him. Damon also clarified that when he thought of the term whitewashing, he assumed that referred to white actors using makeup to appear like someone from a different race, akin to black face.
“Once people see that it's a monster movie and it's a historical fantasy and I didn't take a role away from a Chinese actor,” Damon said. “It wasn't altered because of me in any way.”
The actor said he didn’t think it was an issue and blamed the media for blowing the story out of proportion. Damon added that publications were using clickbait headlines to draw readers in and make a story out of something that shouldn’t have been.
“It suddenly becomes a story because people click on it, versus the traditional ways that a story would get vetted before it would get to that point,” Damon said. “People fall for outrageous headlines, but eventually you stop clicking on some of those more outrageous things because you just realize there is nothing to the story when you get to it.”
Damon’s comments come just a couple of months after the actor was asked about it at New York Comic Con. He called the negative reaction to the film a “fucking bummer” and said people couldn’t really get a sense of the movie off a 30-second teaser. When the casting announcement was first made, people criticized Universal Pictures for not giving the role to an Asian actor and handing it to Damon.
The Great Wall also stars Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe. It hits theaters Feb. 17, 2017.