Published Dec 14, 2017Whether it's a late-night chat with a loved one or banter over a round of drinks with your closest friends, there are times where it might possibly be appropriate to share your half-formed opinions and, hopefully, get some constructive criticism. If you're one of the world's biggest movie stars and you're doing an interview with Peter Travers on ABC, however, you might want to tread a little more carefully.
Matt Damon apparently missed that memo, putting his foot in his mouth numerous times while attempting to discuss the endless barrage of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct allegations that are currently wreaking havoc on Hollywood.
Damon has been criticized in the past about his flip-flopping on the Harvey Weinstein allegations, particularly considering the fact that they've made multiple movies together. Further, his buds Casey and Ben Affleck have plenty of sexual harassment allegations of their own.
Rather than choose his words carefully, Damon clumsily stumbled through multiple allegations from Hollywood. His quotes were ill-timed at best and misguided at worst. He even addressed strawman arguments, suggesting that someone out there has said sexual harassment is the same as pedophilia.
"I do believe that there's a spectrum of behavior," he said. "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?"
Vulture has kindly made sense of Damon's word salad, so we can offer you his take on each subject below. For starters, here's what he said about Louis C.K.:
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."
I don't know Louis C.K.. I've never met him. I'm a fan of his, but I don't imagine he's going to do those things again. 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 behaviors are.
Here are Damon's thoughts on Al Franken:
I personally would have preferred if they had an Ethics Committee investigation, you know what I mean? It's like at what point — you know, we're so energized to kind of get retribution, I think.
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.
This is what he had to say about Kevin Spacey being replaced in All the Money in the World:
That was smart. That was a total business decision by Ridley [Scott]. 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… And I don't disagree with his decision to do that. I mean, that movie, I think, will do much better without Kevin in it.
Damon's had to talk about Harvey Weinstein numerous times at this point, though it looks like practice has not made perfect:
[With regard to the rape allegations,] nobody who made movies for him knew … Any human being would have put a stop to that, no matter who he was. They would've said absolutely no. You know what I mean? … I knew I wouldn't want him married to anyone close to me. But that was the extent of what we knew, you know? And that wasn't a surprise to anybody. So when you hear Harvey this, Harvey that — I mean, look at the guy. Of course he's a womanizer … I mean, I don't hang out with him.
And then there's how he'd handle it if the accusations came for him, a friend or a colleague:
It depends on what the accusation is. It depends what's going on. 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.
Ten years ago, you made a claim against me and I had a big movie coming out, OK? I have $100 million or I have a movie that is personally important to me coming out, and close to the release of that film, you say, "Matt Damon grabbed my butt and stuck his tongue down my throat." We would then go to mediation and organize a settlement. I'd go, "I don't want this out there. Peter's going to go out and talk to the press and run his mouth, and it's going to be overshadowing the opening of this movie. How much money do you want?" The lawyers would get together, and they do this cost-benefit analysis, and they'd go, "Oh, this is what it's worth." And I look at the number and go, "OK, I'll pay it, but you can never talk about this again. You're fucking lying about this, but never talk about this again."