Matthew McConaughey Breaks Down White Allergies on ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’

Megastar Matthew McConaughey stopped by the web series, Uncomfortable Conversations, with a Black Man to chat with host Emmanuel Acho about the state of affairs in America. During the candid conversation, McConaughey broke down the term, white allergies, and what it means for race relations today.

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey | Gary Miller/Getty Images

What is ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’?

Former football player and Fox Sports 1 analyst, Emmanuel Acho, launched Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man as a way to educate viewers on racial issues and open the lines of communication between White and Black America. McConaughey joined Acho as the special guest for episode 2 of the streaming series. In the show, the two men pondered challenging questions and offered honest answers.

Matthew McConaughey wants positive changes to happen in America

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McConaughey is known as an Academy Award-winning actor and father of three. But aside from his day job in the limelight, the Dallas Buyers Club star volunteers his time behind the scenes as a passionate philanthropist who serves his community.

Most notably, he and his wife, Camila, launched the Just Keep Livin Foundation, which aims to empower underserved youth. Considering McConaughey’s interests in improving the lives of others, it is no surprise that he reached out to Acho and decided to appear in an episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

After a brief introduction from Acho, he gave McConaughey the floor to share a thought-provoking statement of purpose. He said this: “I’m here to learn, share, listen, understand, and here to discuss some common grounds between us but also expose differences between us. I’m here to have a conversation, hopefully, promote more conversations, and with the end goal being that we take the time we’re in now and constructively turn a page in history through some righteous and justifiable change.”

What are white allergies, according to McConaughey?

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During the almost 13-minute dialogue on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, McConaughey broached the subject of white allergies. He offered the term as an insightful explanation of prejudices that people may have, but not understand. Here is his take on the phenomenon of white allergies:

Where we were raised and how we were raised in our history growing up, there’s certain just imported obvious ways that we’re prejudiced in ways that we don’t even understand. We got white allergies and may not even know it. And so, I was sitting there, you know, looking at my own life, and I go, all right. To me, Longview High School, it’s over 50% Black. I applied to Grambling (a historically Black college). I was the first white [person] to ever work at Catfish Station, [a] Black blues bar on 6th Street. I am married to a non-white immigrant. I have Black friends all through my life and still do. But, what prejudices may I have via white allergies that I may not even be aware of?

Matthew McConaughey on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Acho pointed to the example of backhanded compliments, such as “You don’t talk Black,” or ”You’re pretty for a Black girl.”

McConaughey took the conversation even further, saying, “A quote came out the other day from a white woman that said, ‘None of this stuff would have happened with George Floyd if we just wouldn’t have abolished slavery.’” He added, “You hear that, and you go how asinine? What decade, century, where did that come from?”

In a sharp remark, McConaughey barbed, “Some people have the white flu.”