Matt Damon, a white man who stars in movies, sat down for an extended interview with critic Peter Travers to promote the upcoming film Downsizing. Travers asked the actor about Hollywood’s ongoing reckoning with sexual harassment, and Damon responded that while he appreciates the moment, he thinks people should chill out just a bit.
“I think we’re in this watershed moment. I think it’s great. I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary,” Damon said. “I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right? 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?”
Damon pointed to Al Franken, the Minnesota senator who recently resigned after several women claimed he groped and kissed them without their permission. The We Bought A Zoo star said he would’ve preferred a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the allegations, and expressed concern that people are “so energized” for “retribution” that they’re conflating different types of harassment.
“We live in this culture of outrage and injury,” Damon said. “You know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’”
Unprompted, the nerd from Good Will Hunting expressed sympathy for 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.
Damon, who allegedly helped kill a story in 2004 about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct in Italy, also denied any knowledge of Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment:
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.
You can watch the interview here. Dude sounds nervous.