Actor Matt Damon’s assertion during an interview on Tuesday that there is not enough dialogue about the men in Hollywood who are not sexual predators was roundly criticised on Twitter.
Will and Grace star Debra Messing condemned the comment, writing. “Matt Damon- SERIOUSLY?...This is NOT the time to ask for a pat on the back.”
In an interview to Business Insider as part of the promotions for his upcoming movie Downsizing, Damon said, “We’re in this watershed moment and it’s great but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s–-load of guys – the preponderance of men I’ve worked with – who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected.”
He added, “If I have to sign a sexual harassment thing, I don’t care, I’ll sign it. I would have signed it before. I don’t do that and most of the people I know don’t do that.”
Damon was commenting on the investigations into sexual harassment in Hollywood that began with the expose of producer Harvey Weinstein in October. After Weinstein was accused of multiple instances of sexual assault and rape, allegations of harassment and misconduct have emerged against several prominent personalities, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeffrey Tambor and James Toback.
Actress Rose McGowan and filmmaker-writer Jessica Ellis also criticised Damon’s remarks on Twitter.
The actor was earlier criticised for saying that sexual harassment encompasses a “spectrum of behavior”. In an interview to ABC’s Peter Tavers last week, Damon had said, “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?”
Damon’s comment had attracted criticism from his Good Will Hunting co-star and former girlfriend Minnie Driver. The actress told The Guardian that men like Damon cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level. “I felt that what Matt Damon was saying was an Orwellian idea, we are all equal except that some us are more equal than others,” Driver said. “Put abuse in there...that all abuse is equal but some is worse.”
Actress Alyssa Milano had also delivered a blistering set-down to Damon in a series of tweets.
Damon’s latest comment also made him fodder for social media humour.