Matt Dillon Calls Race Relations 'Cathartic'

Matt Dillon arrives in Spain for the San Sebastian Film Festival Matt Dillon arrives in Spain for the San Sebastian Film Festival

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (October 1, 2006) — Matt Dillon said racism was a problem in the United States, but he admires the way the country struggled to cope with it.

Dillon, who played a police officer in the Oscar-winnning “Crash” about simmering racial and cultural tensions in Los Angeles, called race-relations “cathartic.”

“It sounds strange but there’s something very healthy, something very cathartic about the way America deals with racism because we have such large groups of people from different ethnic backgrounds,” Dillon told reporters Friday, shortly before receiving an honorary award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

He said, “racism in America is obviously a problem. It’s something that we have dealt with for decades.”

The 42-year-old chimed in on the immigration debate as well, saying he felt some current United States policies contradicted the nation’s founding principles.

“If we deny other people coming to our country then we’re denying everything that America stands for. I feel that way especially with our neighbors in Mexico,” he said. “It’s complicated. I don’t have a solution and I don’t pretend to have one.”

Dillon criticized the current U.S. administration, saying “we’ve gone backward in many respects,” but voiced optimism about the country’s future.

Copyright 2014 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.