Speaking with Business Insider, the “Downsizing” actor highlighted the takedown of predatory stars in Hollywood as a “watershed moment,” but said that in his experience, “the preponderance of men” in the industry are not sexual predators and thus deserve a pat on the back.
“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—tload 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,” Damon said.
Additionally, the 47-year-old actor told the publication that the current climate hasn’t changed the way he approaches working with actors, directors or producers with sexual assault and/or harassment allegations against them.
Damon told Business Insider his perspective varies “case by case.”
“That's always went into my thinking,” he said.
“I mean, I wouldn’t want to work with somebody who — life's too short for that. But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis. You go, ‘What's the story here?’”
The actor’s comments come amid backlash from a previous interview he did with ABC News' Peter Travers, which touched on similar topics.
During their discussion, Damon stated he didn’t feel it was fair to lump all the men accused of sexual harassment and assault together because “there’s a spectrum of behavior.”
“There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” he said.
“Both of these behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?"
The interview elicited a response from both Alyssa Milano and Minnie Driver.
Milano, who participated in the viral #MeToo campaign, tweeted her critique of Damon’s comments, writing that sexual assault and harassment hurt regardless of the magnitude of an incident.
“We are in a ‘culture of outrage’ because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous. And it is righteous,” she wrote.
“I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted — even welcomed — misogyny.”
Driver also reacted on Twitter, sharing an article from Vulture about Damon’s comments.
After her initial response, Driver shared an article she penned for The Guardian in which she stated that people like Damon “cannot understand what abuse is like.”
She said in the piece that she “desperately needed to say something,” after seeing a number of tone deaf comments from "good men."
“I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it’s galling when a powerful man steps up and stars dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not,” Driver wrote.
Damon has not yet responded to the backlash.
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