Matt Damon under fire over sexual harassment comments... again

Hanna Flint
Matt Damon under fire over sexual harassment statements (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Matt Damon can’t stop talking about sexual harassment and people are slamming him for it.

His latest opinion has earned considerable ire because he has suggested that instead of discussing abusers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, we talk more about the men in Hollywood who aren’t sexual assaulting other women or men.

“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,” the actor told Business Insider.

Damon seems to be implying that men who don’t assault women, or other men, should get a pat on the back so it’s no wonder that people have ridiculed the statement; his sort of logic suggests that we should also be grateful to people for not robbing our houses or calling us names – basically being a normal upstanding human being.

Damon’s comment is the latest in a series of problematic statements he’s given on the subject of sexual harassment, which has blown up after the New York Times expose of Weinstein, who was a frequent collaborator of the actor.

Just last week, he implied it was unfair that abusers and harassers were getting lumped in together when their abuse or “crime” was a different level.

“You know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?” he told ABC News.

“We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’”

Damon’s Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver fired back after hearing the comments.

“God God, seriously?” the actress tweeted. “Gosh it’s so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about women’s differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem.”

Driver later told the Guardian: “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 starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.”

Since October, Damon has been making statements about the sexual harassment allegations against men in Hollywood, which includes his best friend Ben Affleck who was accused of groping a make-up artist Annamarie Tendler and the actress Hilarie Burton.

He also originally claimed ignorance about Weinstein’s sexual harassment behaviour but later admitted to knowing that the producer had harassed Gwyneth Paltrow.

Matt Damon knew about Harvey Weinstein’s harassment of Gwyneth Paltrow [Photo: Getty]

“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck], because he was with her after Brad [Pitt],” he told the New York Times. “I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me. But I knew that [Weinstein and Paltrow] had come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to.

“She had handled it. And she was, you know, the First Lady of Miramax, and he treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”

Damon also played the “father of daughters” card after he was accused of helping to suppress a story about Weinstein.

“Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behaviour,”  But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night. This is the great fear for all of us. You have a daughter, you know…” he said.

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