When the #MeToo movement began taking off at the end of 2017, many celebrities responded in ways we could get behind. Actors Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Rosario Dawson, Viola Davis and more began sharing their #MeToo stories and speaking out in support of the movement.
Then there were some celebrities who added their two cents when it really wasn’t necessary. One such person was Matt Damon, who inspired face palms around the world for his tone-deaf comments. It all began a while back, when journalist Sharon Waxman revealed that she killed a story about sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein back in 2004 after receiving pressure from Weinstein and phone calls from Russell Crowe and Damon on Weinstein’s behalf. Damon admitted that he didn’t realize the story was about sexual assault and apologized, with Waxman backing up his claims. But that wasn’t the end of it.
After receiving criticism for what many saw as Damon protecting Weinstein, the actor was further berated for saying that the claims of assault against Weinstein were especially upsetting for him as the father of four girls. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – having daughters doesn’t mean you should care about violence against women. Being a person means you should care about violence against women.
Many took aim at Damon for his comments, including his Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver, who voiced her frustration on Twitter.
Gosh it’s so *interesting 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( *profoundly unsurprising)
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) December 15, 2017
Now it seems as though Damon has taken the comments to heart and is ready to listen. While appearing on The Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford this week to promote his Clean Water Initiative, Damon spoke about what he’s learned since making his comments on the #MeToo movement. It sounds like he’s learned a lot.
“Well, I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” said Damon. “Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say. So, for that I’m really sorry.”
Speaking about the Time’s Up movement, Damon said “A lot of those women are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change and want to go along for the ride. But I should get in the backseat and close my mouth for a while.”