Matt Damon admits ‘naivety’ to the level of racial tension in the US

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was killed while protesting a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville last month, became a tragic symbol of the increasing racial tension in the United States.

And as her family, friends and wider community struggle to come to terms with her death, high-profile figures have shared their thoughts on the violent demonstrations taking place in the US.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Damon admitted he was truly stunned by the level of racism exhibited by young people in the States, saying: "It’s so much worse than I naively thought.”

Reflecting on the images which circulated widely in the wake of Heather's death, Matt continued: "I just feel naïve at this point. It was shocking to see those kids — they looked 20 and 30 years old — in button-down shirts, with Tiki torches, walking down the street."

"Those people are a lot younger than me. Who raised them? Again, I naively thought that, behind our generation, another one was coming with more awareness and inclusiveness, and that everything was getting better with each generation," he continued.

Echoing the thoughts of millions who were left dumbstruck by the footage which emerged out of Charlottesville, Matt added: "And to see these young, aggrieved, white boys walking with their torches and screaming ‘Jews will not replace us!’ It was just shocking."

Unsurprisingly, the 46-year-old actor took the opportunity to deride President Trump's feeble response to the violence, saying: "Then the night that the President [made his] ‘many sides’ comment was absolutely abhorrent.”