The internet is not happy with Matt Damon’s comments about sexual harassment.
The actor, who’s been making the media rounds lately to promote his new film “Downsizing,” spoke about the various scandals in Hollywood, politics and other industries during a new interview with film critic Peter Travers. Although Damon admits “it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories,” he also believes “there’s a spectrum of behavior” and that each incident should be dealt with on a case by case basis.
“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right?” Damond told Travers. “And we’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
The Oscar-winning star went on to discuss several of the recent accusations against high-profile men, including Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey. Damon said that he doesn’t think people should place the senator in the same category as the disgraced movie mogul.
When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera, going like that, you know, that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that … But when you talk about Harvey and what he’s accused of, there are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. There’s no witnesses. There’s no pictures. There’s no braggadocio … So they don’t belong in the same category.
As for his fellow Boston-bred star, Damon said that doesn’t know C.K. personally, but is a fan of the comic and thinks that he has a shot at redemption.
The Louis C.K. thing, I don’t know all the details. I don’t do deep dives on this, but I did see his statement, which kind of, which [was] arresting to me. When he came out and said, “I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.” And I just remember thinking, “Well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that” … Like, when I’m raising my kids, this constant personal responsibility is as important as anything else they learn before they go off in the world. He’s a fan of C.K.
Damon also praised “The Martian” director Ridley Scott for his “smart” business decision to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the upcoming film “All the Money in the World” following the allegations against the “House of Cards” star.
“That was smart,” Damon said. “That was a total business decision by Ridley. I haven’t talked to him, but … it wasn’t a creative choice for Ridley. Ridley has a big movie coming out … and nobody right now is in the mood to see a Kevin Spacey movie.”
Following the interview’s release, critics online took Damon to task for seemingly downplaying the seriousness of some of these stories. Vulture’s headline on Thursday read “Matt Damon Is Sharing All His Bad Opinions on Sexual Misconduct,” while the New York Daily News called his interview “tone-deaf.”
Check out Damon’s full interview with Travers below.