Matt Damon causes controversy with Hollywood sex assault comments
Actor Matt Damon addressed the sexual misconduct allegations coming forward throughout Hollywood, while also mentioning that he believes not all of the actions should be viewed in the same way.
“I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary,” Damon said on an upcoming edition of Popcorn with Peter Travers.
“I do believe there’s a spectrum of behaviour … There’s a difference between 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,” the Oscar winner shared.
Damon went on to use Senator Al Franken as an example, who recently announced he’ll be resigning in the coming weeks following allegations that began with a 2006 photo of himself groping broadcaster Leeann Tweeden.
“When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera … that is just like a terrible joke and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that,” Damon said.
The actor then compared Franken’s actions to producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault and rape by multiple women.
WATCH: Al Franken resigns from Senate over sexual harassment allegations
“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. That stuff happened secretly because it was criminal and he knew it. So they don’t belong in the same category,” Damon said.
In previous interviews, Damon claimed to have no knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, saying, “I knew I wouldn’t want him married to anyone close to me. But that was the extent of what we knew.”
He worked with Weinstein on his Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting, which was produced by Weinstein’s production company Miramax.
Damon also discussed other celebrities accused of sexual misconduct, including Louis C.K., who publicly admitted to his alleged sexual harassment.
WATCH: Louis C.K. says sexual misconduct allegations are true
Damon said that while he’s never met the comedian, he sensed that C.K. will make changes in the aftermath of his sexual misconduct scandal.
“I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again,” Damon said of C.K. “You know what I mean? I imagine the price that he’s paid at this point is so beyond anything that he — I just think that we have to kind of start delineating between what these behaviours are.”
“When [C.K.] 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,'” Damon told Travers.
Damon also shared that he speaks to his friends when accusations against them emerge.
“It depends on what the accusation is. It depends what’s going on,” Damon said. “If it’s a friend of mine, I’m always talking to them. I know the real story if it’s my friend. If it’s a colleague … I don’t know … I guess it depends on the situation and the allegation and how believable I think it is.”
Damon also spoke out about the allegations against U.S. President Donald Trump with Travers.
“And the fear for me is that right now, we’re in this moment — and I hope it doesn’t stay this way — the clear signal to men and to younger people is, deny it,” Damon shared. “Because if you take responsibility for what you did, your life’s going to get ruined. But if you deny it, you can be in the White House, you can be the president.”
People on social media were disappointed with Damon’s comments.
The full interview with Damon will be available Dec. 27.Follow @KatieScottNews
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