Matt Damon, public school advocate, sends his kids to private school: hypocritical?

I wanted to cover this Matt Damon interview because he talks about public schools versus private schools, and that seems like a heated debate to have these days, plus my mom is a public school teacher so I really do have an opinion. But then I got to a part of the interview where Matt kind of insults “the flyover states” – he doesn’t actually say “the flyover states” thank God, but he does shade “the Midwest” when he’s talking about Jennifer Garner. Wait for it. As for the public versus private education – I don’t have a problem with Matt sending his kids to a private school. It’s his money, those are his kids, and if that’s what he wants, go for it. I would only yell about it if Matt was demanding vouchers.

Matt on his mom’s reaction to his Vanity Fair cover: “She’s a professor. If it’s not the Nation, she doesn’t read it. And she said, ‘This thing is nothing but page after page of adverts for products that nobody needs!’” He chuckles. I’d love to know what his mother makes of his latest film, Elysium, a big-budget sci-fi action thriller packed with set-piece fights and expensive pyrotechnic violence. “Hmm, well, my mom’s big on non-violent conflict resolution,” he grins.

Sending his kids to private school: “Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal. And it was a giant family discussion. But it was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don’t have a choice. I mean, I pay for a private education and I’m trying to get the one that most matches the public education that I had, but that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system. It’s unfair.” Damon has campaigned against teachers’ pay being pegged to children’s test results: “So we agitate about those things, and try to change them, and try to change the policy, but you know, it’s a tough one.”

Moving from NYC to LA: “It’s a little unnerving. It’s going to be a very big change for us.” In New York, he explains, “I’ve been really lucky. I’ll completely forget that I’m a celebrity. And then something will happen and I’ll go, oh, right. Literally days will go by in New York where I’m seeing the same parents drop off and pick up at school, and where everything just feels completely normal. I’m going to the Starbucks, and people know who I am, but it’s the same baristas there, and they’re calling out everybody’s name. It’s just our neighbourhood spot. So I’ll fool myself, and then something happens.”

Comparing Lucy to Jennifer Garner: Damon’s Argentinian wife was a bartender in Miami when they met 10 years ago. “I think marrying somebody who’s not a celebrity, it just takes a lot of the pressure off.” His old friend Ben Affleck hasn’t been quite so lucky. “Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, she sells a s–tload of magazines in the midwest. Magazines that – Ben explained this to me – you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to a mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom. As a result of that, there are always five cars outside their house.”

Will he move out of LA if it gets rough? “Well, if that part is really bad, then we’ll leave. It’s just not worth it. There are things I’m willing to give up, you know, but there’s a limit.”

Letting his kids grow up privileged: “Our kids are growing up with more privilege than we had; that’s true for most of my friends in LA. I don’t know any actor who grew up with any particular privilege, so everyone wrestles with this. And I think a lot of times it’s about being patient with your kids.”

A story about privilege: He remembers once staying in an apartment without air-conditioning when his stepdaughter was 10, and she simply refused to sleep. “And we sat there in a huff for a second. And then my wife and I looked at each other and went, ‘Oh my f–king God, she’s never slept in a house without air-conditioning. This is not her fault; this is our fault.’ And I went upstairs and explained to her that all over the world there were kids right now who were sleeping and they never even knew what air-conditioning was. And that, when I was a kid, it was this hot every night in the summer, and I got a washcloth and I wet it. And I explained how her uncle Kyle and I would bump into each other in the bathroom in the middle of the night rewetting our washcloths. And she was laughing. We talked for, you know, 10 minutes, and I turned the light off and she was already asleep. It’s something we talk about a lot, but I think ultimately it’s about giving them an understanding of the world. So at least they can get some context for where they fit into everything.”

Does he ever work for the money? “I’ve never taken a job for money.” Never? “Not since early on, starting out, no. I’ve passed on a lot of huge-money jobs. Money doesn’t enter into the decision-making. If I do a big blockbuster, it’s about how big an audience you’ll get, and where you can take them.” It must be my turn to look surprised, because he adds, “You know, I lost money last year.” What does he mean? “Well,” he says, looking perfectly relaxed, “I earned less money than I spent.”

The news about Edward Snowden: “It just seems to have taken this weird, Orwellian turn. It’s surreal. I don’t know where we are now.”

Politics and Obama: “I think it’s tough for guys who weren’t in the military,” he says. “One, their manhood is kind of challenged on some level, I imagine, and they allow themselves to get bullied. And two, they’re just politically afraid of either looking soft or looking incompetent, so they overcompensate.” Could disillusionment put him off campaigning for another presidential candidate? “No, I’m sure I will. As disturbed as I am by a lot of the things that Obama has done and is doing, I would not have preferred a Romney presidency, that’s for sure. The alternative is even more frightening.”

[From The Guardian]

The shade about Jennifer Garner’s appeal “in the Midwest” is fascinating. “But that appeal to a mom in the Midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom.” It feels like Matt is saying those women who over-identify with Jennifer Garner are ridiculous and that it’s not Garner’s fault that she’s photographed with her kids every day? Huh. I wonder what Ben’s Oscar campaign was about then?

Matt also discusses the Bourne franchise a bit, saying that he was the one to rewrite the ending of Supremacy so that Bourne was watching Pam from across the street. He says that he didn’t want to participate in a fourth Bourne film because the Bourne plots could no longer compete with real life.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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234 Responses to “Matt Damon, public school advocate, sends his kids to private school: hypocritical?”

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  1. T.fanty says:

    Nope. I support public education, but I won’t let my principle stand at the expense of my childrens’ education. It’s my obligation to give them the best start *I* can provide and then work towards bringing public education up to a comparable standard. He isn’t a politician, so is free to send his kids where he pleases.

    • Andrew says:

      Agreed! I mean, I support public school (I’m an elementary teacher!) but my kids will probably be homeschooled or sent to a private school. I see nothing wrong with this. I love Matt, and I think people just try to take what he says out of context all the time. He’s not ‘throwing shade’ to this or that.

      • Amberica says:

        Yep. I teach public school. I can’t afford to quit and homeschool or send my son to private school, but I’m going to try to go work at one so he can go. Advanced kids, or even kids with what would once have been considered average intelligence, can’t get the kind of attention or challenges they need, despite our best intentions. Education now is a triage situation, thanks to standardized testing. Those with the “highest need”, according to testing data, are the main focus. That doesn’t mean I can’t still advocate for reform.

    • Nanz says:

      I agree. It’s one thing to work to make schools better, but it’s a totally different thing to short-change your kids’ education if you can afford to do better. Sending kids to private school doesn’t mean you don’t support the cause to improve public schools.

    • Falula says:

      Agree. I have a teaching certificate and was all gung-ho to change the public school system the best I could from the inside, but I’ve been working with a free school and many homeschooling and unschooling families the last few years – it’s helped me realize that you can advocate for public schools while still making whatever choices work best for your own children.

    • Spooks says:

      I am so happy to live in a country where state schools are really good and private schools are for rich idiots, because I don’t think I could ever bring myself to send my kid to a private school.
      Also, no homeschooling here, elementary education is obligatory, and secondary will also become obligatory in a few years. And I think that is a very good thing.

      • Seattlemomma says:

        Wow, Spooks. Rich idiot? Judgemental much? Hope you’re not in the US. *rolls eyes*

      • Spooks says:

        Well, maybe it was a bit harsh, I apologize. But, if you go to a private school, as I explained down below, it is because you are not smart enough to go to a public one.

      • Thiajoka says:

        I get your point, Spooks, and it’s good that your nation has those opportunities. Think you just hit too close to home a bit. LOL.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        What Spooks was saying is that s/he lives in a country with the public schooling standards the commenters above and Matt Damon wished existed here.

        In many countries, the school system has high enough standards that not all kids can keep up, and private schools will just pass any dummy through as long as their parents pay up.

        Like how in America, if they’re good enough at sports, they’ll pass any dummy through high school AND college.

      • Spooks says:

        The fascinating thing is that I’m from a former communist country that is economically below America. Go figure.

      • Nerd Alert says:


        Our political priorities here (USA) are effed, IMO. People assume that because we are the among the richest and we have the largest military, we are THE BEST AT EVERYTHING, EVER. Now I love a lot of things about my country, but our public schools and our military do not rank with me.

        People also, for some reason, think that if you admit the public school system is effed, you hate all the teachers and America, too. Everyone knows a teacher, and the gov’t tends to blame the state of our system on them. It’s not their fault, IMO, but that is where the blame is laid.

      • Dirty martini says:

        Private schools are for Rich idiots ? Rotfl. Did you attend private school? My son did, He misse a perfect SAT by 20 points, and scored a perfect 800 on 3 of 4 subject matter tests. Hes an upper middle class genius, not a rich idiot, There are brilliant kids in public and private schools, Had the public schools in my area not been subpar, I would have sent him. But they are horrendous and I could afford a private school…..and so I did.

        No apologies. And no judgement over parental decisions made in the best interests iof children.

        And I too want to see public schools strengthened to the max so all children can have an education like my son and renders this debate moot.

      • Spooks says:

        @Dirty Martini, I said in my country, not in the US.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “Our political priorities here (USA) are effed, IMO.”

        I completely agree. I think we used to have a very strong educational system, which contributed to the ability of Americans to climb the ladder of socio-economic class (aka “the american dream”). Our educational system has fallen a part, and I think the long term effects are evident in our economy. Statistically, economic mobility in the US is a thing of the past.

      • Lauraq says:

        I went to a private school for a couple years, then homeschooled. I finished the 12th grade coursework at 14 and went straight to college. But I’m probably still an idiot to you, right?

        ETA: Commented before I saw that your country was not the U.S. Sorry, I have had a lot of people criticize my parents for homeschooling me and sending me to a private school and it gets irritating. Didn’t mean to fly off the handle at you.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Totally agree. I volunteer in the public school and try to vote in ways that will improve it, but would not send my children to the public schools in my state as long as I could afford to do otherwise. I think our public schools should be a top priority as a nation, and I find it so frustrating that we can’t seem to get it right.

      A lot of people who send their children to private schools sacrifice to do so for the sake of their children’s education. I think it’s unfair to classify them as “rich idiots” and just as offensive as calling children who go to public school “poor idiots.” The discourse in our society has become so uncivil that it’s disheartening to try to have a discussion.

      • Spooks says:

        No, no, no, that is not what I meant. In my country, private schools are worse than public ones and the only reason kids are sent there are because they don’t qualify for public schools. The education they get is worse and it is only a matter of prestige so that they can go to a gymnasiom and not a vocational school. And private universities are the last resort, if you don’t get into a public one. They are much easier and it’s harder ti get a job when you finish it, unless daddy has a company. I do understand that things are different in the states.

      • Sixer says:

        I got you, Spooks. I think it’s difficult for Americans to realise that public education is taken so seriously in some countries, that money can only buy a matriculation or degree qualification that’s worth LESS that what the public system supplies. “Little Tarquin couldn’t make it in a proper school, so we bought him a degree”. A “Mickey Mouse” qualification, as we say in the UK. It’s literally a complete reversing of how things are stateside.

        We seem to fall somewhere in the middle in the UK.

      • Spooks says:

        @Sixer, thank you. That is exactly what I meant. Private education is BOUGHT and therefore LESS valued.
        Also, the general opinion here is that if you are the direct source of income for your teacher, he’s bound to be biased.

      • Eleonor says:

        @Spooks: I get what you say! I did all my academic career in a public system, and I’ve seen those who couldn’t go on, turn to private education, where (thanks to their money) they got better notes and got graduated before than me…
        I think your is quite a common opinion in some countries where the public education system is well-financed.

      • Leen says:

        Spooks, what if the kid doesn’t qualify for public schools (not very bright, academic, etc) and his parents aren’t particularly well off? What happens to the kid then?

      • lenje says:

        @Spooks: I get what you’re saying. It’s similar in my country, where in most places, public schools and universities are the best, so parents have to fight to send their children there. It’s changed now since the government required some public universities to self-fund themselves, so they allocate some seats to people who can and prefer to pay more to enroll rather than take the placement tests. And there are many private schools that excel. But in general, I guess public schools still fare better.

      • Sixer says:

        Leen, Spooks doesn’t mean you only get an education if you’re bright. She (? I’m guessing female) means the best schools in her country are a) free/public and access to them depends only on academic ability. Spooks – presumably there is a grammar/gymnasium system in operation?

        This means that at a certain age, kids will go to different schools depending on academic or vocational ability. Germany in particular has a very strong division of children. And those who go to the technical/vocational schools aren’t thought of as dumb. They become engineers etc.

        It also means that when it comes to college/university, grades and ability are the only thing that matters and nobody has “bought” better grades for their kids by buying them a private secondary education. In a system like this, the equivalent of the Ivy League is equally accessible to all, regardless of wealth. Or that’s the idea, anyway.

      • Leen says:

        @sixer, I understand, but the way it sounded that kids who are smart usually go to public schools while ‘dumb rich kids’ go to private education. I’m just curious where the not-smart not-well off kids go? It would be a real shame if their facilities had to fork out and pay for their education . Seems unfair, if you ask me. And yes I am familiar with the German education system, I’m just curious what would happen to say a kid with these circumstances.
        For the record, we have a completely different education system where refugees/poor children attend UN schools or charities. A lot of children who attend these schools are not necessarily academic because there are tons of trauma/behavioral problems they are dealing with along with the fact they don’t have the necessarily support system to allow them to achieve more academically (they have to work on the side because they are poor and support their families etc). All the other kids go to private (which are usually religiously-affiliated schools and affordable)/public schools which IMO are pretty much the same academically wise. Thankfully the poorer not so bright kids have a different support system because IMO I think many of these children would flounder in public/private education

        I’m not against private education, in fact, I think they are kind of important as well, since many of them are religiously affiliated and I would HATE to see religiously-affiliated schools become public, so I’m okay with them being private and people paying to attend a catholic school/Muslim school, or a school that teaches the IB or what have you.

      • Spooks says:

        @Leen, the educational system is a bit different here than in the US.
        Obligatory education starts when you’re 6 or 7 and you go to an elementary school. Private elementary schools are very rare, and they are mostly Montessori. Elementary school lasts for 8 years and when you finish it you choose a high school based on your grades. The best go to gymansiums which are preparatory schools for university. Those with a bit worse grades go to 4year vocational schools after which they have an occupation but can also go to university. Those with the worst grades go to 3year vocational schools and cannot go to university. Now, if the parent thinks that their kid MUST go to a gymnasium even though he hasn’t got grades for it, he will send his kid to a private school.

        And you also get into university based on your grades and additional tests. In my year there are super rich people and very poor people. A while back the government tried to charge tuitions. Dear God. The students protested, the proffessors protested, everybody protested. Now some courses, like the faculty of economy, accept 900 people, the first 600 don’t pay anything, and the other 300 pay some tuition, about a 1000 dollars . If their grades are good, they stop paying. I’m in med school on the other hand, and they accept only 300 pepole and nobody pays anything.

      • Leen says:

        @spooks, I get you, I’m not from the US either that’s why I was curious what you were talking about. I just assumed you were talking about the education as a whole(including elementary school) and not just high school.

        See it’s interesting because where I’m from private schools are competitive based on academics (not wealth as private education is affordable). Even if you are rich, if your kid has bad grades, he’s not going to attend at particular school. Some schools, I swear to god, even expelled those who fail classes (and their school year).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Sixer wrote, “I think it’s difficult for Americans to realise that public education is taken so seriously in some countries, that money can only buy a matriculation or degree qualification that’s worth LESS that what the public system supplies.”

        I think you hit the nail on the head.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m sorry I misunderstood you. I don’t agree with classifying children as idiots, but I see that I took your comments the wrong way. Lately it seems that everyone in the US is calling each other names if they don’t agree, and I find it really unhelpful and upsetting, so maybe I am overly sensitive to that.
        I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings.

    • Emily says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth. I like the way he explains it, too. Currently, there is no way to get a progressive education in public schools.

      For the most part, normally learning kids will do fine at either public or private schools, but if you can afford to give your children a GREAT education as opposed to a fine one, why wouldn’t you?

      • Suze says:

        Can we stop painting with a broad brush?

        One of the very real issues of public schooling in the US is that school quality is wildly divergent between states and districts within states.

        You can get a stellar education in some public schools and some are tired wastelands. Quality can also vary within districts and even within schools, depending on the teachers and curriculum a student chooses – and that last is usually dependent on the savvy of the student and how much guidance he/she gets from parents.

        It’s a hugely complicated issue with the factors of money, race and class all thrown into the stew. But what it’s not is a simple “all public schools are always second to all private schools.” And not all private schools will give you a great education. Some will, some won’t. There are times when a student – whether they are gifted or not – is actually better off at the local public school than at a private school.

        And as for the progressive education comment, I’m not sure what that means. Progressive politically? There are many private schools that aren’t in the least progressive.

        That said, Damon can send his kids wherever he wants without being a hypocrite. He can’t solve all the world’s problems and at least he’s concerned about the education of kids that are not his own.

        (And yeah, what Sixer says below about parental involvement and cultural capital is spot on).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “One of the very real issues of public schooling in the US is that school quality is wildly divergent between states and districts within states.”

        I completely agree. I believe a lot of education funding is tied to property tax…which means “rich” areas are going to be provided with drastically different funding than poor areas.

        IMO, we need to see the value in quality education for all children and I think this means we should have more equitable funding among districts.

      • Liberty says:

        My super-bright niece was sent to very costly ($25k per yr) private school in a major US city since kindergarten. Kids of well-known people attended and were her friends. She insisted on having after school and summer tutors from age 11, saying her teachers were “on the phone” or “just making us sit and read” during classes — while she was getting straight As. Her parents kept discounting her concerns. I went in and saw it with my own eyes, and the worst offenders were the math and science teachers who didn’t seem at ease with their subjects. She won over her parents, switch to another known private school for her high school years and took intensive math and science tutoring the summer before starting to catch up with her peers (vital to her as her career goal will require top skills in both areas). She works very hard at her new school and loves it and four of her best friends left the old school and joined her. They all told that the not-so-great private school catered to “kids who want to be actors or singers, they don’t have to do much to pass.” The school does not sell itself that way. I am glad she realized something wasn’t right after talking to her public school friends – and glad she was determined to get out and go elsewhere.

        My point — not all public or private schools are created equal and as a parent or relative, you should really keep going in, checking it out, talking to the children to see if the education you think you are giving them is al that it should be.

      • Liberty says:

        Sorry about the typos in my comment – typing too quickly on my iPad and I can’t seem to make edits for some reason.

    • vesta says:

      I agree that he isn’t a politician and he can send his kid to any school he wants, BUT I think he should maybe give a little bit less these “politically correct” statements about supporting the public school. He isn’t going to live in some poor area with a troubled public school. I believe he could have found a pretty decent public school in his neighbourhood.

    • Pinky says:

      I hope everyone on here who says they support public schools doesn’t turn around and complain about paying higher taxes to do so. Do they? Or claim that charter schools are the way to go, which rob public schools of necessary funding.

      People have to remember that the decline in public schools in our country is directly correlated with “White Flight.” Historically that was white people, who didn’t want their kids to go to schools with black kids, instead sending their kids to private schools; which has turned into (mainly) white people who don’t want their kids to get lost in a “failing” public school system that got “left behind” (during the original white flight) when the money, teachers, and tax-payers, and students fled for private educations, again removing their kids from the system even though it could benefit from their involvement socially, economically, and through that influx of parental involvement. The “private school” option became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is resegregation. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

      • Jenny says:

        I think the white flight is generally more associated with the flight of white families from urban to suburban areas, leaving only less well to do families in many cities, while devaluing property and thereby decreasing district property taxes in the process.
        Resegregation is a HUGE issue and solutions are elusive, but one thing I know is that as long as school districts are funded by local property taxes (which is almost exclusively the method) students of low SES truly have no chance at an equal or even decent education in America.

      • Sixer says:

        The same problems occur in British schools – but it’s associated with income and not race. Property prices and rents were very high to begin with and were pushed even higher by parents scrambling to buy houses near the better-performing state (public) schools. Some here argue it’s a de facto privatisation of some state schools. And, as you say, it’s a repeating cycle of cultural capital and parental involvement being concentrated in some areas and completely missing in others.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “as long as school districts are funded by local property taxes (which is almost exclusively the method) students of low SES truly have no chance at an equal or even decent education in America.”

        I agree 100%

      • hazeldazel says:

        your argument doesn’t wash, look up Prop 13 in California and then consider that all schools are paid by property tax. It’s really just that no one wants to pay taxes and yet everyone wants services. If you look at the metrics of our schools, we rate around Bangladesh. The only world-leading schooling we have is at the university level which is mostly privately funded.

        Check out the book “Savage Inequality” to see how taxes and unequal funding is affecting our schools. This whole teaching to the test and testing score affecting the funding a school gets just exacerbates the problem.

      • Lauren says:

        I think the SES/property tax argument is being overstated – or at least looked at for the wrong reasons. I grew up in affluent town in the Mid-Atlantic. In a state with high property taxes, my town (and the other well-off towns nearby) had exorbitantly high property taxes. But guess what? The very poor cities in the state actually spent significantly more poor pupil. However, a lot of that extra money can go to waste, administrative costs, and corruption.

        Another factor at play – and I have seen this first hand from my work with children – is that, from a younger age, many low SES children are at a disadvantage in regards to preparation for and attitudes about school. If no one in your family has a job, or most haven’t graduated high school, who will be your role models? Who will help you? I have heard too many kids say “when I grow up I want to be on disability like my .”

        I think this is a complicated issue. People may identify one factor, but there are so many things at play here.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Lauren wrote, “from a younger age, many low SES children are at a disadvantage in regards to preparation for and attitudes about school.”

        I agree this whole heartedly. Poverty creates very real challenges at home that have a great impact on what happens at school. I think it should be noted that a lot of the countries who have better schools than the US also have a much lower level of poverty.

        It is a very complex issue with many facets!

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ sixer: we have the same thing in Australia. Some public schools consistently perform far above the rest, so everyone wants to move to that catchment area, and the house prices get pushed well above where they “should” be. The area becomes a zone for upper-middle-class families who really prioritise education (otherwise you’d choose to live elsewhere). Obviously those kids are highly advantaged. As you said, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Raquel says:

      My thoughts, exactly. As far as I am aware, he never swore up and down that he was going to put his kids in a public school because its unfair how you have to be rich enough to afford top-tier private schools in this country for your kid to have a decent education without fighting for it. He simply did not make one of those pretentious pledges that celebrities are won’t to do, and then go back on.

      All he ever says is that the public education system is crap, and that, unless you live in the right part of the right state, and your kid is self-motivated enough to want to learn, you don’t stand a chance at a decent education unless you can shell out for a spiffy private school.

    • fancyamazon says:

      I agree. There is nothing wrong with private schools, and sending your children to them does not mean that you cannot try to better the public system for all children.

    • Amberica says:

      I wish we did divide students at a certain point. As far as low SES goes, in my experience it depends on how a district manages its funds. I’ve only taught in low SES districts, but within the three I’ve taught for, I’ve seen the students have access to wildly different opportunities.

    • ctkat1 says:

      Not a hypocrite. I went to private schools, and I got a great education. I spent 4 years teaching in public schools, two through Teach for America, and I consider myself a huge advocate for public school reform. Still, I won’t be sending my future children to public schools. And I live in Portland, which is hardly an inner-city or rural area.

      The American public school system is a mess- the higher achieving kids get NO attention, because all of the focus is on getting the lower performers to pass the standardized tests. This is part of why I left education, because my smart, inquisitive, and motivated kids got none of my or any other teacher’s attention.

  2. Marjalane says:

    Biggest douche in Hollywood, his ego is perpetually writing checks that his I.Q. can’t cash.

    • Bijlee says:

      +2 I’m not shading him for sending his kids to private school. I get what he’s saying 100%. But I still think he has a bit if an ego. Dude just rubs me the wrong way. I feel like its the association with affleck

      Especially when goes on and on about the Midwest moms. I think that Matt listened to affleck which is very telling IMO. Now j garners image seems a hella lot more deliberate. Like before I saw it as her taking advantage of the fact that she’s papped everywhere. Now I feel like she does this deliberately to keep her name in the papers. To have some sort of “fanbase.”

      And no one would take pictures of Matt’s wife. She’s not white! Magazine editors simplify the “Midwestern” mom to only care about white people. Maybe matty will get papped, but his wife not so much.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t think what he said suggests that Garner calls the paps. Rather, it shows where the demand is coming from.

        The reason paps take pictures of her is because people who buy mom-ish magazines drive the demand for photos showing Garner doing mom-ish stuff.

    • Kas says:

      Exactly. But look at the metaphorical back bends people are performing to see him as anything but an elitist asshole.

    • KT says:

      I totally agree. He is a self absorbed ass that takes himself way too seriously. I refuse to support anything he is in.

  3. Nanz says:

    This is my first ever side-eye to Matt Damon. I happen to be a mom in close proximity to the Midwest. I don’t identify with Jennifer Garner. I think rather than shade moms in a specific region of the country, why doesn’t he address why the Motherhood Industrial Complex is a thing? It may not begin with celebrity moms, but they definitely contribute to it TO MAKE MONEY and to portray a certain image. So, read up, Matt.

    • Mia 4S says:

      I don’t care where they live, I worry for the intelligence of any mother who buys Garner’s whole “regular mom” act. Yeah I’m sure all the housework, child care, and cooking are done by her. Maybe find some role models among mothers who actually struggle to succeed?

      • nico says:

        If she doesn’t do all the cooking and cleaning, does that make her less of a mother?

        There is nothing wrong with getting help if you can afford it.

      • Mia 4S says:

        @Nico, not at all! Housekeepers, nannies, awesome! All good I wish every mom could afford them.

        But if the motherhood industrial complex is so accepting of those who have help…why are the help hidden? Why aren’t they mentioned? Why are they treated like a dirty secret? Why are celebrity moms always working and working out when the kids are napping? Damn those kids sleep alot! Face it, the celebrity mom narrative set up by the magazines implies having help=less of a mom. It’s nauseating and she’s one of many who feed into it.

    • Tara says:

      I totally disagree with the way everyone took his midwest mom statement. When i read it at first i did an eyeroll but i read it again and actually googled some of his interviews. I could be wrong but i think Damon is shading Garner not the moms. He cant come right out and say it but he is saying that real, everyday moms who raise their kids with hard work and without millions in the bank would not worship a Hollywood mom if they could really see behind the scenes.

      He and his wife seem to take pride in contrasting their parenting and lifestyle to Hollywood. I always get the impression that Damob is praying that Garner reads these interviews and gets his drift. Its a way of out-smugging the Afflecks with no direct proof. It is more likely that Damon aligns himself more with the midwestern moms. He is trying to tarnish the Garner sanctimom brand with snark, imo.

      • mom2two says:

        I agree with this. He’s basically saying that Jennifer is more famous for being a Mom then an actress(not that there is anything wrong with that). Let’s face it, at this point in her career, if she wasn’t Mrs. Affleck, would she get the covers of those magazines? Would there be 5 cars in front of their house? Matt might not want to admit it about his buddy, but Ben played up the happy family for his Oscar campaign. Garner played her part very well.
        Matt did not marry a famous woman. His wife will not be magazine front cover material. Either he is okay with that or not. I assume he is.
        I can’t throw shade at him for saying he supports public schools but is sending his kids to private school. They are his kids, his and his wife’s choice.

      • Kate says:

        If he takes so much pride in their “contrarian” ways, why is he moving his family to LA near where Ben/Jen and their paparazzi entourage live?

        Keep me in the camp of Damon is a hypocrital elitist. No he isn’t a politician, but he uses his access to the media to try to influence opinions and policies. Practice what you preach buddy.

        And for the record, my kids go to private school because in my southern state where taxes are low and business is booming, public schools are not an option. Yes, I understand the trade off.

      • lisa2 says:

        I like Matt for the most part. But I’m tired of that “I married a regular woman”.

        It is such a backward compliment to me. Kind of the way Ben talks about Garner. I just think that he makes her sound like such a bore. And yes I think that comment about Garner is shade. But Matt has done this before in the past. I also note that he talks about the press following Brad/Angie in a completely different way than he does with the Afflecks. I don’t know..

        Maybe he is just saying that the “image” is not the true person. Maybe he knows Jennifer in a different light. Personally or from Ben

      • Tara says:

        Ita that Damon probably sees the real side of Garner and he is proud of the approach he takes to parenting. I think it is sweet the way he puts his wife on a pedastal. He is very preachy and one interview away from being the male Goop but at least he is trying to influence policy with his fame. He could be in Vegas getting lap dances behind his wife’s back but he is trying to help fix social problems.

        My God, some people will snark about ANYthing. And besides if he sent his kids to a public school system that he knows to be broken and flawes then he would be a hypocrite – throwing his kids under the bus in order to champion a platform.

  4. Cazzee says:

    Yes, it’s totally hypocritical. Put your money where your mouth is, buddy.

    Not all public school systems are awful – especially in Boston! With all his money he could easily live in a nice town and send his children to high-quality public schools.

    • Brittney says:

      He IS putting his money where his mouth is! He’s among the most generous and proactive of the celebrities covered on this site, and it always flabbergasts me how his ilk still draws ire for supposed intentions, hypocrisies, PR savvy, etc. He’s actually, legitimately campaigning for important causes and putting himself (and his wallet) out there, and his parenting choices have no bearing on that.

      In fact, he even goes into detail about what a complex and collective decision it was to send his children to private school. Like Jolie acknowledging that not all women can afford the test she got, Damon seems to be acknowledging that he had the privilege to make this decision, but millions don’t and shouldn’t have to. More power to him for continuing the conversation.

      Kaiser, my partner’s mom recently made the switch from public to private school (she’s a fifth grade teacher), and her life and sanity have improved immensely. She loved the kids but hated everything else about her job, and now she’s reaping the rewards of private tuition. It’s just sad that there are so many smart kids losing access to resources and teachers like her, just because they’re not born with silver spoons in their proverbial mouths. (I was an in-betweener, the poorest kid at my private school and only there on scholarship and with my grandparents’ help… so I get it. I transferred to public school only to go to the IB program, which is something that’s doing an immense amount of good for low-income communities… ahhh, I could go on forever, sorry.)

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Cambridge Rindge & Latin is excellent.

      BTW, where did Damon go to school? I know he went to Harvard but never graduated but where did he go to high school?

    • Bird says:

      Technically, all of us who pay taxes are putting our money where our mouths are!

      • xjala says:

        I don’t know about where you live, but in my state the schools are funded purely but property tax. So only the homeowners are capable of putting their money where their mouths are and since there are so few homeowners here now? Our school system is last in the nation. And god, does it ever show.

    • Rachel says:

      I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all. My mom was a public school teacher for almost 40 years and still subs post-retirement. My siblings and I all attended public school, and I received an amazing education. Because I had wonderful, creative teachers who utilized innovative teaching techniques in the classroom.

      In the last few years of her career, I watched my mother grow more and more unhappy in a position which had previously brought her such joy. And that unhappiness was caused by the deterioration of our public school system. A system which no longer values quality teachers, but instead stifles their joy of teaching through dictates handed down by administrators and legislators who have never so much as set foot in a classroom. Which, in turn, leads to those quality teachers leaving the profession or turning to private education.

      When it came time to enroll my nephew in school, my mom advocated for him to remain in the private school where he had attended pre-K. At the age of 4, he could write out the entire alphabet, print his name, and sign his name in cursive. They don’t even teach cursive in public schools here anymore.

      I don’t see anything wrong with giving your children the best education available, while advocating for improving public education, so that ALL children can receive a quality education.

      Aside from all of the above, Matt Damon is very famous and very wealthy. Both of which make him, and his FAMILY, a target. Private schools can offer him security that public schools cannot.

    • Sherry says:

      What I don’t get is why didn’t he just move to an area that has good public schools? I’ve got three kids and last year we thought we might be moving to the LA area. I would never put my kids in the LA School District, but Manhattan Beach, Malibu and Calabasas/Agoura Hills all have good public schools.

      Why not just move to one of those areas and let his kids go to public school?

      • Amanda_SC says:

        @Sherry: I have to disagree with you. Having lived in all of the areas that you mentioned, the public high schools are not all that great. Granted they are supposed to have solid academic programs, higher-than-average standardized test scores and higher-than-average college placement rates, but you still have to consider the negatives. All of the communities that you mentioned are affluent and along with that comes spoiled kids with too much free time and money to burn. The kids that live in these communities and are not as affluent often have a very rough time of it, particularly if they are not athletes. Agoura Hills and Calabasas have horrible drug problems, as does Westlake High. Malibu is only slightly better, but most residents of Malibu still opt to send their kids to private schools. Oak Park, which is supposed to be one of the best schools in the state, is probably where I would have sent my kids if they had they gone to a public high school.

        I wouldn’t put Manhattan Beach in the same league as the other schools that you mentioned, although it is a lovely community.

        I grew up in the midwest and attended public schools. If the public schools today were even 80% as good as they were when I was in school, my kids would have gone there. The unfortunate reality is that they are not, especially in California. So, my husband and I sacrificed to put our kids through private school starting in 6th grade and I still believe it was the best decision that we could have made for them.

        As far as the “Midwest Moms” comment is concerned: that’s just asinine. I think a lot of Matt Damon and so I’m choosing to believe he was repeating something Ben said and didn’t mean it in a negative way. As someone with strong ties to the midwest, I don’t know a single mom who would give Jennifer Garner and her role as a mom a second thought. They are much to busy with their own lives.

      • jen says:

        Public schools today are the best they’ve ever been, FYI.

        It’s just that 20 (hell even 10) years ago you never heard about crappy ones.

      • Lauren says:

        Amanda – I’m not sure I’m entirely getting your point. If he’s opting for private school in that area, he would likely (assuming he will be choosing an elite school) getting only the spoiled rich kids as classmates for his children, who, let’s face it, are also rich. Are you saying the private schools would be a better option because the rich aren’t mingling with the poor?

        Also, I find it sort of funny that Matt made a snotty comment about Midwest Moms and people are taking such pains to isolate him from it – such as “I’m choosing to believe he was repeating something Ben said” or thinking of it as a shade on Jennifer Garner.

  5. Amory says:

    I don’t think he was throwing shade at Garner. She has that wholesome image, and that’s hardly an insult.

    I also don’t blame him about the private schools because at least he was thoughtful about it. I imagine he can protect his kids a bit more in a small, private school, and that they are with kids whose lives are somewhat similar. I’m all for anyone who supports public schools and teachers in any way possible, and I couldn’t agree more with him about not tying a teacher’s salary to some ridiculous student test.

    • Sanaa says:

      I think he is disdainful of that wholesome image. Honestly, I wonder if Matt lusts/loves his bfs wife. Its like he has her on the brain all the freaking time. Seriously if your husband is constantly bringing up his bffs wife (even just to shade her), you need to worry.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Sanaa, who wrote: “I think he is disdainful of that wholesome image. Honestly, I wonder if Matt lusts/loves his bfs wife. Its like he has her on the brain all the freaking time. Seriously if your husband is constantly bringing up his bffs wife (even just to shade her), you need to worry.”

        You got the fact that Matt Damon’s responses were to questions asked in an interview, right? So that really should answer your question.

        @Kaiser …

        No, I don’t think he’s casting shade. But it certainly sounds like Ben was casting quite a bit of shade in ‘his’ explanation about the Midwestern moms.

      • Sanaa says:


        Unless the question directly references his bffs wife, I dont see why he would mention her. He can draw the contrast he is trying to draw without mentioning the Afflecks (or the Pitts, remember that?). Even if the question directly names Jen, he can manouver out of it or evade it or very simply add it to the Dont Ask list, which he and all major celebs give to interviewers.

        I maintain this is a guy lashing out at the woman he lusts after. That crap doesnt end in second Grade. I look forward to the revelation that Matt moved next door so that he could see her everyday. And that one day during a cozy barbeque in the backyard, while Ben was fetching more beer, Matt went for a first kiss and was shoved into the pool. Or the kiss was reciprocated and now Matt and Jen are the new Ben and Jen. Sigh.

  6. Tessa says:

    Uh, yeah it’s hypocritical. He says he believes in public education, but clearly not enough to inflict it upon his own kids. Put your money where your mouth is. If public education is such a wonderful thing, and should be supported, then support it! Put your kids into the system, and cross your fingers.

  7. lisa2 says:

    Not sure if Matt is the one throwing the shade. This is a quote

    Ben explained this to me – you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to a mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom. As a result of that, there are always five cars outside their house.”

    Ben is the one breaking it down for Matt. I mean Matt lived in NYC not LA. So he wouldn’t know this. So Ben is the one talking about it. But yeah I agree he; Ben doesn’t mind when it is helping him one way or the other.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone sending their kids to Public/or Private schools. Your choice. But I hate when people put Public Education down. There are some great Public schools and some not. Just like Private Schools. Private does not equal Great.

    And the thing is Public Schools have to take all children. Regardless of whether they have learning difficulties or behavior problems. Private schools can and are more selective. So yes when you don’t have to contend with all the other factors that affect learning in a classroom then yes you can focus more on being more intense in lessons. But that is hard when you are in a classroom and you have children that are on varying learning stages. It is a hard thing; and the public doesn’t seem to want to accept that.

    • OhDear says:

      Agreed – I think he was stating Ben Affleck’s explaination. He might agree with it, though.

    • Brittney says:

      Yes! He seems to be among an earnest few celebrities who actually don’t know the paparazzi game backwards and forwards, and his tabloid staple BFF simply gave him a rundown to prepare him for the move. If I were moving onto the same street as Jennifer Garner, I’d want to know too, and how he explains it makes sense. Demographically speaking, the Midwest and non-urban areas in general ARE the target tabloid audience… sites like this benefit too. I work for Nielsen so demographics are on my brain and I might be getting my facts wrong… but it doesn’t sound like a put-down to me, and I was born in Chicago/raised in the suburbs. I come from a whole family of Midwestern women, and while almost none of them follow celebrity gossip, they certainly consume more media and contribute more to the CPG market than anyone else in my life.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, I don’t think he was putting anyone down with the Midwest Moms comment either.

        He was explaining where the demand comes from that keeps paparazzi taking pictures of Garner doing completely normal stuff: because Moms like seeing Jen do Mom-stuff.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Lisa2, who wrote: “Not sure if Matt is the one throwing the shade.”

      Oops! I have ‘got’ to finish reading all the comments before posting. I said a similar thing up stream a bit. I think it was definitely ‘Ben Affleck’ casting the shade at Midwestern moms, not Matty D.

    • Lauren says:

      Maybe, but I still feel that even if Ben said that verbatim remark to Matt (which, who knows) it was still in poor taste for Matt to repeat it in an interview. Not because of Ben, but because I think it is rather rude to use “midwest moms” as some kind of proxy for lameness.

      Also, Matt is known as a smart guy, who is well traveled. I think he knows how the paparazzi/media game is played and doesn’t need to rely strictly on Ben’s explanation.

  8. MonicaQ says:

    At least he thought about it. I went to public school from ages 5-18 and then private college. There’s asshole kids, best friends, great teachers, terrible teachers, and everything in between at both. Being a substitute for awhile showed me it’s 90 percent a) if the kids want to work and b) if the parents were ever involved other than “WHY DID YOU FAIL MY PRECIOUS?! /Gollum hiss”.

    • Willa says:

      Monica, “Why did you fail my precious!?” Cracked me up! I could hear it in his voice!

    • taxi says:

      I agree w/MonicaQ.

      Public schools have to take all kids, even the ones who don’t want to be there or who require so much extra help (educationally, physically, or behaviorally) that everything is geared to the lowest common denominator.
      Parents who pay for private school tuition expect results & usually make sure the kids do their homework & show up for class. If a kid’s behavior or classroom performance is horrible, private schools can expel them permanently. Public schools cannot, so the miscreants stay, distract other kids, & take more than their share of teacher-time, shortchanging the well-behaved and scholastically capable kids.

  9. minimi says:

    I just don’t understand why is he always talking about Jennifer Garner…Is he jealous of her or what? It always sounds like he’s throwing shade at her or that he also wanted a bit of the attention. I understand that the magazines might be the ones always going there but really it starts to be a bit awkward to read interview after interview with some comment about Garner.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Minimi …

      Please read the article above again. Matt didn’t cast the shade … Ben Affleck did.

      And he doesn’t always comment about Jennifer Gardner … he often comments about the ‘Afflecks’ as a couple, or Ben Affleck alone. This is actually the first time I’ve heard Matt Damon comment on Jennifer Gardner alone, and it was in response to a question posed during an interview.

      • Lisa says:

        I’ll bet it has something to do with the fact that his wife, the mother of his children, is treated like a non-existent unimportant woman. And that’s got to sting because you can see he obviously love her so. Imagine witnessing someone you are in love with that does so much for you and your family get treated differently(in a not that nice kinda way) than your best friend’s wife, who essentially does the exact same thing and is held up on a pedestal. Just my measly opinion, nothing else.

      • minimi says:

        @ Emma – the JP Lover

        Please, read my comment again.

        I didn’t refer to this specific comment, although, IMO even if this was the way Ben Affleck broke it down to him, he doesn’t have to say it in an interview. Not like Ben Affleck is the greatest person with words when it comes to his wife. As someone upthread said, he seems to have Garner on his mind a lot and it is my impression that he does talk about her or their relationship a lot in his interviews, what doesn’t happen the other way around. He could talk about his own wife without the comparison with anyone else, it would sound better.

      • Lauren says:

        They don’t essentially do the same thing. Jennifer Garner acts in a movies and was in a big TV show. Luciana was a bartender. The public tends to be more interested in celebrities than non-celebrities, which I think accounts for the larger spotlight on Jennifer than Luciana.

        And by his account, Matt appreciates the relative anonymity he and his wife have. So if he is offended that Luciana isn’t papped enough,maybe he should work that out in therapy…

      • Suze says:

        Matt repeating the shade Affleck cast is worse than being the original perpetrator, IMO.

        The fact that he feels this comment is worth recounting in public to a reporter either shows a deep resentment or incredibly poor judgement.

  10. bowers says:

    Yeah, I thought he was better than that.

  11. Amy Pond says:

    You cannot support public education and then send your kids to private school in the way absolutely public way he is doing both. He pays lip service to public ed and then uses a BS excuse to send his kids to private schools because he wants to do so. Reread his excuse; it doesn’t even make sense.

    I am a public school teacher. I have no problem with private schools (I was educated in one). But what I have a problem with is people like Matt Damon who are going to champion the public school system to the public and then send their kids to private school. If there are problems in his public schools the change is only going to come from within and he won’t be a part of that change if his kids are in private. Watch. He is a hypocrite, although, really, I don’t know why I am surprised.

      • NerdMomma says:

        Emmm I have to say, I don’t think he ever instructed the masses to send their children to public school. Supporting public education and supporting teachers, particularly at the level of an activist, does not imply that it is the only choice for families. He wants to see schools improved and not pulled down by high-stakes testing. There’s no hypocrisy in that.

      • Kiddo says:

        Turning your nose up at public schools, by sending your kids to a private school, isn’t supporting public schools in the strictest sense. It says that public schools aren’t good enough for MY kids. You can give lip service about “supporting” those schools, but doing something as a parent within the system and having your kids actually attend speaks volumes about your faith in the system. Going outside of that, not really so much.

    • vesta says:

      I have to agree that I feel he is being a hypocrite and unfortunately lost some points in my eyes. I understand that it’s his kids and his choice and that the decision wasn’t easy, but still… His kids are ALREADY and ANYWAY very privileged with their money and connections, so would it really have been “a sacrification” (I believe there must also be many good public schools in the US) ? That way he could have done his bit and support the public system. Otherwise keep your mouth shut about the subject.

      But I also recognize that I come from a different culture so maybe it’s kind of too easy for me to say this. I’m from a Nordic country so I definitely am a product of a public school system. And I wholeheartedly support public school systems – I just feel society should give all children an equal chance in education.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      He supports improvements in public education. There is nothing hypocritical about his actions, IMO.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        I’m with you, Tiff. He already puts his money where his mouth is when he pays his taxes. He reserves the right to say he’ll pay for his children’s schooling until the public system is adequate. It’s not hypocrisy at all.

        Still, nobody can concisely explain why this offends them. The hypocrisy reason isn’t valid, soo….?

    • xjala says:

      I think what a lot of people fail to take into account is the paparazzi. If I were megafamous, I would send my kids to a private school even if the public ones were just as good in order to protect them from being harassed by aggressive photographers.

    • Tara says:

      He would only be a hypocrite if he had gone around saying that public school is so much better than private school so lets all send our kids there. No he has been talking about the huge cracks in the ed system and advocating policy changes that will benefit our children. When an education analyst or think tank says the exact same thing we do a slow clap and agree. But because he is a wealthy celeb we point fingers. And telling him to put his money where his mouth is reeks of ignorance.
      1. If he puts his kids in a public school that is even one percent worse than a private one then he is throwing them under the bus.
      2. Maybe the government will consider reform if enough people protest.
      3. He certainly is putting his money where his mouth is because he is a tax payer. So he is paying twice – for his kids and yours.
      4. Even if wealthy parents chose public school it doesnt change national policy. So how is he selling out? Blame the government.
      5. Besides if you happen to be religious then private school is best if you can afford it. It is a lucky option to have.

      This school shaming is ridiculous.

  12. Sixer says:

    Not hypocritical. Like Clooney, I think Damon recognises the moral maze and navigates around it with as much integrity as most of us can muster. One could say that, even though most things are easier when you have money, keeping your integrity can actually be more difficult.

    I see my first responsibility as to my kids. Once they’re ok (and ok doesn’t always mean given a private education or some other leg-up, but sometimes it does) then I owe a duty to making sure the other stuff I do doesn’t contribute to messing anyone else up, as best I can.

    Education in the UK is slightly different, I think. If you want to buy academic advantage through private schools, you’d really have to go with boarding so that brings on a whole different set of issues about parenting. I’d want mine with me. Even so, we moved our family from the city to the country so that we wouldn’t have to choose between unaffordable mortgages to get into good school catchment areas or money to spare and kids going to disastrous schools. Where they are now, in a small market town, is where everyone’s kids are – rich, poor, nice, horrid.

  13. lucy2 says:

    I have no problem with him sending his kids to private school – money is not an issue, and I’d imagine most celebs look at it more like a security issue. And if he’s a supporter of public schools, even better.

    I think that was throwing shad at the Midwest moms more than Garner herself.

  14. Talie says:

    I don’t think it’s hypocritical. I went to public school, but if I one day have the money (and also have children), I would send them to the best school I could afford.

  15. Samigirl says:

    I don’t blame him one bit. He can rally for public education but the fact is, public schools aren’t fantastic.

  16. Serenity now says:

    I am a high school teacher who works in the public system. I plan to send my kids to a private school. But I still support public education. From my personal experience I find private schools to be stricter and young people do much better with boundaries. As opposed to the low socio economic school I work at- where I get told to F off on a daily basis, kids are low achievers, parents are unsupportive. Don’t get me started on the leadership in my school either.
    But on the flip side I was public educated although my schools had a better culture and good teachers. I try to model the awesome teachers I had growing up.
    As of now I am failing- I either need a new job at another school or maybe a new career.
    Going back to Matt- I don’t see anything wrong with him wanting to send his girls to a private school.

    • Ktx says:

      Serenity Now, I have had the same experience as you. I’m now teaching in a great private school. Make the switch to a private school or to a good public school if your teaching experience is that bad. There’s no shame in that.

    • Jayna says:

      Matt’s public school district would be an A-rated school, where parents are very involved and lots of money from that district to have a state-of-the-art school.. Big difference.

      In my town, one of our best private high schools is loaded with richy richy kids, and my friend told me when she went there there was tons of cocaine use. All the kids driving up in Beemers and Porches and Mercedes. Paris Hilton graduated from an elite private school. LOL

      Having said that, I see nothing wrong with him choosing private school over public school. I just think your comparison doesn’t hold water with him because of the school district he will live in.

  17. PrettyTarheelFan says:

    OK, unfortunately, I get his point about public schools. There are FANTASTIC public schools out there, and I come from four generations of public school principals, superintendents, teachers, juvenile advocates, etc. However, unless you are in the right district, and in the right area, your kid can get lost in public schools. If you have the financial resources, why not? It doesn’t make you a hypocrite to advocate for better public schools while getting your child the best education possible. I’m politically rabidly pro-choice, but if I got pregnant tomorrow even though I don’t want another baby, I wouldn’t have an abortion. You can be an advocate for better lives and choices for everyone while pursuing the best choices for yourself. You cannot and should not carry the guilt for making advantageous decisions for your family if it is not coming at a cost to someone else. I’m sure Matt isn’t asking for a break on his taxes because his kids are in private schools.
    We’re sending ToddlerTarheelBuckeye to a really nice pre-school and paying out the ass. The discussion we’re already having now is: when he is old enough to go to school, do we send him to the really well-regarded but very large public school (we’re in Mt. Pleasant, SC-some of the best public schools in the South), or do we continue to pay and send him to an expensive but fantastic private school? What’s best for him and our family? If we send him to private school, are we going to be able to adopt another child and do the same? What’s the financial impact long-term on our family and his success?

    And yes, I know not everyone has that choice, and I’m sure that the fact that people are able to make that choice is contributing to the gap between the rich and the poor, and frankly, as a extreme liberal, I think better allocation of our tax dollars resulting in better public schools for everyone would be my preferred solution, but I’m functioning within the world I have with what I can do for my kid. That’s all I can do on a personal level, while I advocate for better public schools in my political choices.

  18. SamiHami says:

    He should go into politics. He’d fit right in there where they vote to keep their cushy healthcare program while forcing obamacare on the rest of us.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      I’d rather have Obamcare than no health care at all. And their (politicians) healthcare is basically the same type of plan, but I guess they don’t see the irony in that.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It is not factually true that Congress exempted themselves from “Obamacare”. I will post a fact check link in a moment.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      “But there is no bill in Congress calling for an exemption from the health care law. In fact, members of Congress and their staffs face additional requirements that most Americans don’t have to meet.

      Under the health care law, their insurance coverage will have to switch from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the group of private insurance plans that cover 8 million federal employees and retirees, to the exchanges created by the law. Those exchanges are meant for those who buy coverage on their own, the currently uninsured and small businesses. Members of Congress and their staffs would be the only employees of a large employer in the exchanges, which are set to begin offering insurance in January”

      “Update, Aug. 7, 2013: The Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule on Aug. 7 explaining that members of Congress and applicable congressional staff will be required to purchase health insurance coverage through the exchanges created by the law. However, according to the proposed rule, the federal government, as the employer, will still be able to make a contribution to health insurance premiums as it currently does. The contribution will be no greater than that now offered to members and their staffs under the FEHB program, and members and their staffs will not be eligible for premium tax credits made available to other persons purchasing health insurance through the exchanges”

  19. nico says:

    Private schools may have better security,which would appeal to celebrity parents.

  20. j.eyre says:

    I was educated in the public school system, my mother was a public school teacher and I send my kids to public school – but I looked at private schools. I fight very hard for public education but there is truth that the education is not as rounded as the one I had (in CA, at least.) We went public because I have a special needs kids and it is the best place for him. I firmly believe people need to do what they think is best for their kids. I am fine with his decision.

    The air-conditioning thing is funny. We are currently discussing school busses. I am a stay at home mom so I can drive and pick up my kids but I feel like the school bus is an important part of a childhood experience – just getting around on your own. We have been exploring public transportation this summer so my kids because familiar enough that when they can go out and about on their own, they can navigate transportation easily.

  21. Val says:

    “Ben Affleck married Jennifer Garner and you married a bartender with a kid. These are facts.” ~ Peter Griffin

  22. Mary says:

    Hmmmm, I’m from the Midwest and while not a mom, I have a lot of friends who are moms. I can honestly say that not one of them gives a crap about Jennifer’s parenting style. And what is this ‘magazines that you and I have never heard of.’ He’s never heard of People or US Weekly? Because those are the types of magazines that I see at the supermarkets here in the Midwest.

    • Ellen says:


      I get what he’s saying: I’m not papped less because I’m special, I’m papped less because my wife isn’t fan-girled by the Minivan majority. But WTH are these “magazines you and I have never heard of”? In Touch? OK? This is just rude. “Those frumpy moms with their no-name reading interests” — ugh.

      • Lauren says:

        Completely agree. That’s what bothers me about that comment. I don’t think it’s a shade on Ben or Jennifer so much as the people whom he assumes follow Jennifer’s activities in “those magazines you’ve never heard of” – and maybe blogs, too?

  23. trudy347 says:

    Do we know why Damon is moving to LA after all these years being “in the business?”

    • Amanda_SC says:

      Matt use to live in LA. I remember when he first started out that he, Ben, Casey Affleck and 1 other guy all shared an apartment in Eagle Rock. I think it was only after he established himself as an actor and had some money that he moved to NY.

      Also, he’s owned that house in the Palisades for over a year. They have been living there off and on again since they bought it. I don’t know why it’s such a newsworthy item now. Maybe it’s because they had to wait to move here full-time until the oldest daughters had finished the school year and they just vactioned in the home or something, but they timing seems strange. Maybe it’s just a good time to promote the new Damon-Affleck company while promoting Elysium…?

  24. bns says:

    How is he shading Jennifer Garner?

    • Amy says:

      He’s not. He’s dissing an entire region of the country – where I happen to live and of which I am quite fond. It’s not crowded out here, Matt, and we like it that way. (Also, you might be shocked to discover that some of us out here have interests beyond Jennifer Garner. But again, if it keeps our little hamlets quiet and peaceful, we are fine with you thinking we are all Garner-obsessed.)

  25. The Original Mia says:

    I do think he’s hypocritical, even if I myself never went to a public school. In my neighborhood, they weren’t good, so my mom made the choice to send me to a Catholic school first, then a private academy. She did that because there were no other choices. That can’t be said now. Matt Damon isn’t going to be living in a school district with bad public schools. He’s going to be living in a school district with high income parents, whose taxes will pay for top notch teachers, nice schools, and everything that lower income school districts aren’t going to have. So…yes, hypocritical.

    And he & Ben are throwing shade at Midwest moms.

  26. Tig says:

    I am a fervent supporter of public schools, and it saddens me no end to see how teachers are now being demonized- unions are horrible, etc.

    However, it’s a parent’s obligation to do what he/she can do to ensure their child gets the best education possible. As pointed out in many posts, I cannot imagine the security headaches that a public school would have to deal with if Matt Damon’s children attended. Also, some children perform better in smaller class sizes. I don’t see this as hypocritical.

  27. Silversurf says:

    Oh come on this just means he is human like us. Though I don’t have a child, I know children are always parents’ first consideration. If he sacrificed his daughters’ education to comply with his adovocate,would that made him selfish as well as an irresponsible father? So the only thing left him to do is bashing public school and tell people to keep their children from it? It will only make things worse.Like he said, it’s complicated. He himself is the poster child of public school so I think his advocate comes from his heart. But I also understand he want his girls have better education.

    I feel lucky that in my country there are no such kind of debate. Half of the secondary schools and most of high schools and universities are support by government. True there are good one and bad one but nothing is determined by privilege. Children go to different school by dedication to study.

  28. Jayna says:

    The FCAT in Florida has made our public school system a mess. The pressure on the teachers is huge and have to be so focused on having students study and cram for passing that test.

  29. Suze says:

    He can send his kids to whatever schools he and his wife want and still support public schools. We all have our divisions like that – for example, I support people in the military but would never join up myself.

    That Garner quote is weird, though. I can’t tell if it’s Affleck shading his own wife, or shading the taste of folks in the midwest, or if it’s Damon doing one of those things.

    Either way, he’d be better off not even mentioning the Afflecks in interviews anymore. It comes off as strange. Just a “Hey, they’re my friends so I don’t compare my family to theirs or even discuss them at all” would be fine.

    • Dingo says:

      Usually I like Matt Damon. But he needs to stop with the “I’m so normal with my normal wife and family.” He does not have a normal average family he is the father in a super rich family. And he should stop talking about how his friends (Brad and Ben) are constantly being chased by photographers (selling their family lives) while he has this ordinary life, it seems odd that he talks about it in almost every interview, if he was my friend I would get annoyed.

      • Silversurf says:

        agree. It won’t wear out my love for him but I’m so over his ” I’m living a perfectly normal life, jealous of me huh?” thing. I think it’s time for him to change the topic. Don’t ever recycle those old materials he used in every interview and never compare himself to any of his friend. This is embarrassing.

  30. cyn says:

    He has “managed” to eke out a career without living in lalala land, so why the need to switch coasts now? Looking back at comments he’s made in the past about preferring the anonymity in NYC and Miami, why does he feel compelled to move? He’s not hurting for work and can pick and choose his projects…

  31. Frenzy says:

    What’s with his obsession with Jennifer? In his last interview with Playboy if I remember correctly he talked about Jen too. This Luciana must be insecure of Jen for Matt to always bring her up in every interview. Sorry but this Luciana just rubs me the wrong way.

  32. TheOriginalKitten says:

    If I have kids, they’ll be going to public schools.

    That is all.

    • jwoolman says:

      If the public school was good and safe, yes. But what would you do if it wasn’t and you couldn’t move to a better school district? It’s economics that decides it for many parents, if they can manage to send kids elsewhere in such situations – they do. There are more options than just very pricey private schools: Catholic parochial schools and other (often small) religiously based schools, for instance.

      I knew a man who had taught in a nice Catholic private high school for a long time. They downsized so he had to take a job in the New York City public school system (high school). I don’t remember the name of the school, but it was pretty awful. Bomb threats every day. Most of the kids never showed up for class and those who did were just passing time usually, often without the basic skills needed. He mentioned one pregnant girl who did dutifully show up every day, trying to learn something in this chaos. She wasn’t doing all that well regardless, but he gave her points for trying. The whole setup was a disaster for students and teachers, just a holding pattern until the kids were able to legally drop out of school. Even less awful public schools struggle often with a high dropout rate – 50% isn’t so uncommon, although many schools engage in creative accounting to try to make it seem less. My mother was born in 1922 and when she graduated from public high school, she was really well educated (better than many kids coming into the private college where I taught for a few years). I noticed the same with local people here of similar age. But I’ve dealt with more recent local high school graduates who could barely read.

      The problem of teaching for standardized test taking is very real. I’ve heard many teachers complain about it. Also the pressure to pass the kid along to the next grade regardless of their mastery of the subjects. Class size is another serious problem – large classes are not successful for many students. Some manage anyway, but they are just self-motivated and basically learn on their own so it doesn’t matter.

      • Leen says:

        I just wanted to mention, I went to a Catholic school for 10 years and usually catholic private schools are on the affordable side of private education and they are TOUGH. But they give you a good education. I’m not even Catholic and I went there so there you go.

  33. Ellen says:

    Two thoughts:

    (1) He spent more than he earned? OK, I get that they did the big wedding and I’m sure they have savings so it’s not a big deal, and probably they expect to have high-income and low-income years, but this still rubs me the wrong way. It’s silly of me to be upset, I can imagine their expenses, but … really? Yuck.

    (2) We have A/C but we still take our kids to a lake cabin without it, and on hot summer nights, they sweat. The Damons never go anyplace without A/C? OK, fine, I get it, he’s a super-famous movie star and he vacations in different venues, but together with the whole “our expenses exceeded my income” thing — which yes, I checked his IMDB, he didn’t actually film much in 2012, fine — it just feels like Damon wants to be all “I’m just an average guy with my normal wife, raising our kids as normally as possible” and yet he really has become a little clueless about how totally inside the celebrity bubble he actually is.

    Jennifer Lawrence was just quoted about this in EW — she said she wouldn’t let celebrity change her, but it really had. And I get that. But why do so few of these people have any self-awareness about it?

    • Noodles says:

      My kids have grown up in Texas and AZ. It is realllllly hard to find places without air conditioning here. The only places we would find no a/c are some of the older businesses down in town in the college area.

      The kid grew up in Miami, correct? Again, an AC town. Maybe it is different when one lives up North, but in the more Southern states, AC is a must.

      • MonicaQ says:

        Agreed. I’m from Tampa Bay and A/C is the norm. I spent my summers in the backwoods of North Florida though so I’m used to no A/C but I understand the kid being like, “What in the blue bonnet hell is this?” if that’s all they know.

      • Leen says:

        Well, I’ve lived in the US, UK and the Middle East, and the only place where AC wasn’t literally in every building/house was in England. Everywhere else I seem to be in the US and the Middle East, there’s an AC or at the very least a fan. Although I’ve done the whole putting wet towels on beds before when there was no AC/Fan.

  34. fabgrrl says:

    Makes sense to me. Even if his local public schools were excellent, children of celebrities have security and privacy issues that regular kids don’t. A public school can’t provide the same protections.

  35. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    At least Luciana knows how to make drinks – thats more than can be said for Jennifer G who probably sits around drinking organic vegan green tea – oh wait thats goopy.

  36. CC says:

    Have no kids but for me it depends of a lot of factors, namely how close is it to home and would they be able to walk there safely or forced to use school buses or public transportation, would they be able to make decent friends (as in with the same socioeconomic background-sorry but too uneven backgrounds benefits no party), and the quality of teaching standards in it, how good are the grades and how the students fare in national exams. It really depends on the school.

  37. Renee says:

    He said if he could have found a public school that matches the one he attended, he would have taken that route. This is a very personal choice. My daughter went to public school of which I was PTA president and the parental involvement was high and the interaction between PTA and school board was strong. She got an amazing education. Unfortunately not all public schools are on that level and we were very fortunate.

  38. pantalones en fuego says:

    His mother is a professor but “if it’s not the Nation she doesn’t read it”? That was pretty much my reading when I was in my 20′s in college. Nice to see that a professor is so well read (note the sarcasm). I think that he is the type of actor who tries to play like he’s a normal nice guy but in actuality he is jut your run of the mill uber liberal entitled white guy who just happened to make it as an actor. If the objective of this interview was to make him less likable it worked.

  39. Jennifer12 says:

    I am a public school teacher in NYC and believe strongly in the public school system. I understand MD putting his girls in private school, because as kids of a celebrity, it is usually a better choice. There’s more control over what they’re exposed to and how the kids perceive them. There is a huge revolution going on in public schools right now as many of us teachers are fighting against the endless testing that does NO good to anyone except the companies making money off the children and attacking teachers for not getting them to pass tests they can’t pass (example: they put a passage from Dostoyevsky on a THIRD GRADE test). It’s all connected to RTTT (Race To The Top) money that schools receive for getting good grades on the tests, so that all we can do is test prep and that’s all the kids get all day, to pass tests that show nothing except test prep and the companies that make the test prep materials and write the tests make money off of this terrible situation. Public schools are under attack, but we’re fighting back.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      My daughter had three teachers for her 8th grade algebra class – and each one started at the beginning of the book because they didn’t know what the previous teacher had done. In the spring when they took their 8th grade exam (that they had to pass in order to graduate and move on to high school), her entire class failed the math portion because they were being tested on things they had never come close to learning in class. They were forced to spend every day of their school break being tutored so they could be re-tested. My son once had a teacher admit to me that she only taught to the test, and the kids didn’t really “learn” anything.

      • Jennifer12 says:

        I will try to find the Atlantic article about the public school revolution going on. Schools are having the tests rammed down our throats, and if the kids don’t pass, they take money away from the school. They give teachers bad ratings based on the tests. The scary thing is that the tests are much too hard and that they’ve become progressively harder to pass. They’ve had to admit that questions on tests are unfair and that they won’t score based on those questions, but it’s too late for kids who had to stare them down. Then they make them take field tests to take samples. They’re attempting to destroy public school education and young minds in the process, but there’s a huge revolution going on with parents and teachers (and I’m both) that is saying enough is enough and the tests have to go.

  40. lisa2 says:

    Matt is always comparing his life to his friends. It is either Jennifer and Ben or Brad and Angie. I mean in every interview. Depending on the couple the quotes are kind of Ben/Jen kind of ask for it.. Brad/Angie don’t ask for it but are not as lucky as me.

    He needs to stop talking about his friends. I have yet to hear Brad or Angie whine about their life; and they don’t talk about their friends and their lives period. And Ben doesn’t talk about Matt really; and I don’t recall him every talking about Matt’s wife.

    **** I don’t know if this is true or not.. but I saw a comment once that said that 2 of Matt’s daughters have a learning deficit, and that was one of the reason for the Private School. Not sure if that is true or not. But it was a surprise to me.

    • RME says:

      Why would it be a surprise? Special needs isn’t something that happens only to lower income families..

      • lisa2 says:

        What are you talking about. I was not implying that this only happens to low income people. Gosh how did you get that from my comment.

        I said it was a surprise to me because I don’t recall Matt ever talking about such a thing. And he strikes me as a person that would have said something about it because of his background. His mother was in education; and there is nothing to be ashamed of or anything that needs to be hidden. Although I would understand his need to keep his children’s life in that regard private.

        seriously how you got anything else from that is beyond me. I have a brother that is deaf and mute, a nephew who is autistic. We come from a middle class background. I have worked in schools and see parents from all walks of life with children that have learning challenges. And no it is not a class situation.

    • Lauren says:

      This is something not realized by most parents, but public school is often a better choice for kids with learning disabilities or other medical/psychological issues. Even very good private schools tend to have not much in the way of services for these kids. Public schools have IEPs, 504 plans, speech therapy, OT, etc. and can often (but not always) do a better job.

      • lisa2 says:

        Very true, and those services are available to all parents. Even for those children school age 4 and younger. Parents can bring their children to their neighborhood school and the District sends specialist to the school to provide those services. And as you stated that is not always the case in a Private School. And as I said Private Schools have the option to not accept these children for admission. Public Schools can’t do that.

  41. JennJennM says:

    I am a public school teacher who encourages friends and family to send their children to good private schools if they can afford it in order to unplug from the standardized testing matrix that has come to dominate K-12 public education,

  42. Lucinda says:

    I don’t see the shade and I’m no Matt Damon fan. I used to love him but he gets a bit judgmental for me when he starts spouting off on politics because he just says things that are condescending and add nothing to the conversation. However, he’s done some really good things which is why I simply avoid most threads about him. I don’t like him but I’m not going to slam him either. As for the school thing, he really can’t send his kids to public. It’s just not safe for his family.

  43. MissNostalgia says:

    These know it al celebrities really make me laugh. Do they really think that the west and east coasts and Europe support their films and livestyles? No…people in the mid-west also are filmgoers so there is nothing to be gained by needlessly insulting people. Fact is, the entire public education system is a mess (check out the recent report on NY schools test scores). Children all over this country are suffering from a poor product and general disinterest. Please Mr. Damon, do me a favor and shut up and sit down.

  44. taxi says:

    I don’t see either Matt or Ben shading the mid-West. I think the reference is to Garner’s role advertising a brand available in drugstores & supermarkets everywhere in the US instead of Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Armani, etc, which don’t have many free-standing boutiques in mid-West cities outside of Chicago (which doesn’t consider itself mid-West.)

  45. Unbeweavable says:

    I send my son to a public school for pre k because he has a speech delay. The private schools in my area don’t have speech therapists. So until they do- we’ll be a public school family.

  46. mommak918 says:

    Once a public school teacher…with a mom who still works in public schools…..I personally cannot afford private school for my two sons…but will homeschool. I support our public schools but I know too much about the education and lack of it…along with the politics and the behavioral issues/drug issues/crime rates etc of students. Yes, some public schools are better than others. I do live in the city and so inner city schools are not good.

    My mother, whose been a teacher nearly 30 years in both private and public schools wishes to help pay for my children’s private school tuition (of course I said no) but she is adamant about keeping her grandkids out of public schools too.

    We need an education reform!

  47. Amanda says:

    I can see why he wouldn’t send his kids to a public school, but why couldn’t they homeschool their kids? Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Lucy a housewife?

  48. diva says:

    I live in the Midwest and I don’t know anyone personally whose running out to get a magazine with Jennifer on the cover. I think she appeals to a certain type of suburban mom and those mother’s are all over the US.

    • Lena says:

      I think he said magazines but he could have more acurately said “gossip websites” which get all kinds of hits from people facinated by her parenting and that’s why there’s so much pap interest in Garner. He probably doesn’t know celebrity sites exist, why would he. The comment about “oscar campaigning” is old and has been proven false. There are just as many pics of The Afflecks after the oscars as before. Sorry but there’s just gossip website interest in them (& this site is proof).

      • Jane says:

        Lena, you took the words right out of my mouth, probably the most accurate comment describing the interest in Jen Garner, the problem some people have with Jen, and maybe Matt has himself, is that Jen does nothing to avoid the paps, but then again how could she if they are camped outside her house?Interesting though that when she is away filming in another state, the photo ops stop, but Ben who doesn’t usually accompany Jen and her kids when she relocates, does not get papped, wonder how Ben is successfully able to avoid them and she can’t? Ben is sly like that, he has mastered how to be elusive, probably why he has been able to cheat on Jen without getting caught by the paps, tabloids or Jen. It will all come out soon…it always does.

    • pamb says:

      I am a mom in the Midwest and I have been racking my brain to think of what kind of magazines Matt Damon is talking about. Redbook? Good Housekeeping? Those seem like ‘flyover country’ magazines, but I don’t think they have pap pics of Jennifer Garner. Is he calling US Weekly and People Midwest Mom magazines? They feature plenty of pictures of Jennifer Garner and kids at the farmer’s market.

      And Lena, as far as the Oscar Campaign, I think what people refer to is the pics of Ben with his wife and kids. You rarely see pics of them all together, but you sure did during Oscar season. He was picking them up from school, attending a cake decorating class, etc. Has he been photographed at a park with his kids recently? I doubt it.

  49. lisa says:

    he spends a lot of time talking about all his thoughts and feelings on things and not nearly as much on actual movies he makes

    i dont care what he thinks but i believe he could have found a public school in an exclusive area that would offer a quality education. if he had other reasons in mind like security, he could have said so. but mostly when actors ramble on like this, i think they are a tool.

    • Monica says:

      err, he can’t just send his kids to whatever public school he wants, he has to stick to his district. He has four kids, at different ages, he can’t buy four houses to claim residency wherever the schools happen to be. Also, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good quality public school.

      • lisa says:

        err, he just moved so he could have chosen a district he likes if he did not think it was more important to live as close to ben as possible.

        and in some places you can attend public schools out of district if you pay tuition if you so choose

        a lot of out of district people pay to send their kids to the public school where i live

      • Vesta says:

        “if he did not think it was more important to live as close to ben as possible”

        Lisa I am loving your observation :) :)

        After reading through this whole thread I am more than ready to think that the mentioned proximity is his only true priority.

  50. Emily C. says:

    It is not hypocritical in the least. Matt Damon supports public schools and wants them to get better. He is not in some dreamland where they are all wonderful — he wants them to be wonderful. And he is correct. No Child Left Behind eviscerated the public school system. It is supporting public schools to advocate for their utility and for them getting better at the same time. It is not supporting them to pretend that things in them are wonderful and perfect now.

  51. JL says:

    I support all education and certainly public schools.

    I went to public schools and both state and private universities.

    Damon has a point, that’s why we shell out for Catholic / private schools in my family.

  52. mj says:

    Wow, I haven’t read tons about him, but he showed a pleasantly surprising degree of self-awareness in this interview. He totally knows Jennifer Garner’s niche! I grew up in the Midwest and her motherhood is something my friends’ parents (when I was younger) would totally gush about. Also, I love what he says about Obama/Romney. So many times this country is so busy polarizing/being polarized that everyone lose sight of real issues.

  53. pöbeln says:

    It is illegal to homeschool your children in my country.
    In the future, when I have kids, I want to homeschool them because our public schools are terrible and the few private ones aren’t much better (basically the same because the government has rules you must follow) even though we have the reputation of good public schools. I’m from Sweden if you hadn’t guessed it by now.
    I will probably have to move somewhere homeschooling is legal.

    • Amanda says:

      What? Homeschooling is illegal in Sweden?! That’s not very democratic IMO.

    • Annie2 says:

      Why can’t you homeschool along with the public education? Help the children with homework and reinforce what is taught in schools. This all doesn’t have to be either or. Involved parents that instill respect and discipline in their children is what is lacking in public schools. Teachers can’t raise children and that is what some parents think school is for unfortunately

    • Vesta says:

      Sweden has had some issues with this law, but it’s a whole another complex question. (And there are surprisingly many countries in which homeschooling is illegal.)

      I’m from a fellow Nordic country (where homeschooling is legal) and I must say your statement about “terrible” public school in Sweden seems quite a stretch. Terrible in what kind way and compared to which countries?

  54. Kelly says:

    Kind of a hypocrite. Jennifer Garner would not have a career if she couldn’t sell herself as a mother. Does anyone actually care to see her acitng? Ok I’m sure some people do but without her getting attention for being a mommy, people would have forgotten her long ago. Sorry we are not all from Boston Matt Damon. He seems like a jerk.

  55. RME says:

    I love how you’re still carping on about Ben’s “Oscar campaign” as if 1. every other film studio/maker doesn’t campaign now too; and 2. as if the paps just suddenly stopped following Garner and those kids around on February 25th because the Oscars were over.

    Keep it up.

    • pamb says:

      The Oscar Campaign is not that Ben and Jen never got papped before; of course they did. It’s that Jen was usually photographed alone with the kids. There were never pictures of them as a couple or as a family. During Oscar season, Ben Affleck became Mr. Mom, picking up the kids from school, going to the park, etc. He and Jennifer were photographed together on ‘date nights’. Oscar voters love a family man! Once the Oscar was one, those photos were gone. Now it’s back to just Jen with the kids. Gee, I wonder why?

  56. Veeeery Veerytas says:

    Typical libtard hypocrite. It’s okay to send your kids to private school but don’t say that public schools are great and that you support them when you know that they are hellholes. Tell it like it is!

    • Lucky Charm says:

      I took his comments to mean he was looking for a certain type of education, not the type of school. Even many of the good public schools no longer offer a well-rounded education. Most school districts now are beholden to the tests, not what children are actually learning. He said that if he could find that in a public school, they would go there.

      And what does being a liberal have to do with wanting your kids to have a good education? All parents of any political stripe should want the best for their kids.

    • jwoolman says:

      Isn’t he supporting improving public schools? Where does he say they are all great? He says the public school he himself attended was great. So was the one my mother attended in the 1930s. But by the time we were living in the same town in the 1960s, not so much and she sacrificed financially to put me into a Catholic school. A lot of public schools are no longer as good as they used to be, and some are really bad. It’s not fair to give kids a poor education when you can afford better, just to satisfy people crying “hypocrite” otherwise.

  57. Monica says:

    Well, dang, at least he’s honest. What he said about Obama is rough – I bet the Pres wouldn’t care to read how he has no testicles, basically.. Made me laugh.

    Of course he’s not sending his kids to the public disaster, if we implement voucher system and introduce competition into the education system, schools will improve. No point in throwing more money at a flawed system.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Vouchers won’t change things. The value of the voucher won’t cover the full costs of the best schools, and so poor children still will not be able to go to them.

      I think there is no alternative to improving public education.

  58. lisa says:

    i think the air conditioning story is weirder, get the kid a fan or a window unit if it is that hot.

  59. Lee says:

    I think he is saying ” Let them eat cake.”

  60. Das Spleen says:

    Timely conversation for me. Yesterday I had to go to an affluent private school for some work related stuff. The main building looked like a Victorian castle and was surrounded by dozens of sporting fields and tennis courts. It was very impressive. But I wouldn’t want my kids in a school like that because although the academic education would be first rate they’d get too much exposure to conservative values and attitudes.

  61. KSPaula says:

    Well – those were some disappointing quotes. I’m used to celebrities being condescending about … well, everything but he sounded less clueless celebrity and more east-coast snob. You can certainly tell he hob-nobs with the Clooney gang. Guess I’ll just read about good old Jen and Ben and leave him to all those other important things like justifying the Obama presidency. Wow.

  62. Annie2 says:

    If kids want to learn and have supportive parents, they will learn. If they don’t care then they won’t learn. Doesn’t matter where you go. Education is a lot of what you put into it.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I completely agree. I go to a good school, with great teachers (with the exception of one or two in the whole school) who are pretty willing to bend over backwards to help you with your grade. My French teacher, a great teacher, great guy, gave students his cellphone number (he wrote it on the board) so that we could call him AT ANY TIME if we needed help with our homework. He would also work out times to help study after school, if that was what we wanted.

      In my experience, I’d say the majority of kids who do fail don’t do the work. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. They are lazy, and don’t have parents who actually care. The parents that do care, care about the overall grade, not if their student doesn’t turn in homework, but still passes the class.

      Add the socialization factor-which I’m sure is a lot worse in urban areas than in my small town, a lot of nothing gets done. That’s why my parents homeschooled me and my three siblings for two years. It was really because my twin and my younger sister both have issues with knowing when and where to socialize and not knowing how to study.

      We went back to school this year, but next year we’re doing online schooling…which I like better because I like to just do the work and get it done. But it’s odd how many people look down on homeschooling. Like my dad’s side of the family (who live in the same area as us) pretty much told my parents that they were stupid for doing it, because we wouldn’t get to hang out with our friends. Mind you, my brother gets distracted easily, my little sister wasn’t learning ANYTHING-she would just memorize what she needed to pass and then completely forget it. She was in sixth grade and didn’t know her times tables.

      But then again, my cousins are brats (no joke), so that’s where their mindframe is at-socialization over learning.

    • MegG says:

      Annie2- At my public school we got all the expelled students from the new campus, sent to ours. They constantly disrupted the class, therefore making it very hard to learn. My school didn’t even expell these students who clearly didn’t want to be there.

  63. Str8Shooter says:

    Complete and total hypocrite.

    Kind of like crusading for the homeless then tearing down a shelter to build condos.

    Just sayin’

  64. Janet says:

    I’m all for great public schools. But when my son was growing up in NYC, we lived in a neighborhood where the schools were absolutely horrible. Every parent who could afford it sent their kids either to Catholic school (even though they weren’t Catholic) or to private school. My son went to a private elementary school and a Jesuit prep school and got a great education in both places. Today he’s a college professor.

  65. Lemony says:

    Dear Matt, Ben Affleck, & Jen Garner:
    Send you kids to school wherever you want to. It’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that.
    But I must inform you that nobody here gives a crap about Jennifer Garner & I don’t recall seeing her in any magazines here. If she is, I’m sure they are collecting dust on the shelves as I type this.
    You can kiss both sides of my ass.
    Proud born & bred Midwesterner, public school graduate, state university graduate, and former public school nurse.

  66. Jenn says:

    My daughter went to public school and she made near perfect on her college entrance exams, but she went to the magnet school, and to the honors classes. Private or public, you get out of it what you put into it.

    Matt can be a snobby little jackass, but his heart seems to be in the right place. I agree wholeheartedly with him about the prez choices.

  67. abe says:

    these people cause the downfall in america.

    • MegG says:

      A movie star actually sending their kids to public school is laughable. It s never going to happen! I was a bright student but my parents sent me to one of the worst schools in the state. I think I would know far more from experience, than an out of touch movie star. Private schools should give a chance to poor kids like I was, not just kids who excell in sports. It should also be academic. The comment about his kids never going without air conditioning, they sound like spoilt brats. I guess they’ve never been camping that’s for sure.

  68. Caroline says:

    No way, for sure I’d send my (future) kids to private school, provided I have the monetary resources.

  69. LaurieH says:

    My problem with Matt Damon is not that he’s sending his kids to a private school. If a parent feels their public school is does not provide their child with an adequate education in a safe environment condusive to learning, they should be able to enroll their child in a school that better meets their needs and expectations. (In fact, if enough parents did that, maybe public education would improve). In Matt’s case, he didn’t think the LA schools were “progressive” enough (his words). My problem is that Matt Damon publicly opposes school vouchers that would allow poor parents to make the same choice he did and send their kids to private schools. Public schools: good enough for the little peope. Not good enough for Matt. Meh!