Matthew Perry Removes Keanu Reeves Insult From Memoir: “It Was a Mean Thing to Do”

Matthew Perry Removes Keanu Reeves Insult From Memoir: “It Was a Mean Thing to Do”

Image Source: Getty / NBC / Kevin Winter

When Matthew Perry’s memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” came out in November 2022, fans expected a tell-all recounting of his rise to stardom on “Friends” and his lengthy struggles with addiction. One thing no one counted on, however, was the fact that Perry included a few harsh words about widely beloved star Keanu Reeves. Several months after the controversy erupted, though, Perry is officially wiping Reeves’s name from future editions of his book.

He announced the change during an April 24 appearance at the Los Angeles Festival of Books. “I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” he said, per The Los Angeles Times. “I pulled his name because I live on the same street. I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it.” Perry then added that while he has not yet addressed the matter personally with Reeves, “if I run into the guy I’ll apologize,” and concluded that deciding to use Reeves’s name “was just stupid.”

Later on during the conversation, Perry noted that he never meant to bash anyone and that he did his “best to not go after anybody in the book. That wasn’t the point,” per The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve been in therapy since I was 18 years old,” he continued. “I wanted to make sure that this wasn’t the kind of book where I blame people for the things they did wrong. You have to give them credit for the things they did right.”

The Reeves mention in question occurred in a passage of Perry’s memoir where he reflected on the late River Phoenix, who starred alongside Perry in 1988’s “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.” “River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out,” Perry wrote. “It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

The comparison immediately led to criticism, and Perry later denounced it in a statement to People. “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake,” he wrote. “I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.”

For his part, Reeves has never addressed the mention, and instead seems to be spending his time making John Wick movies and enjoying life with girlfriend Alexandra Grant.

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