Celebrity

Hey Matt Damon, STFU!

Since you won't excuse yourself from the narrative around sexual assault in Hollywood, we're excusing you

Matt Damon in a dark jacket

(Photo: Getty)

Update on Dec. 17: After Matt Damon’s interview ABC aired, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted an essay dismantling many of Damon’s comments and claims. As a reminder, Milano has been vocal in the recent conversation around sexual assault after she encouraged other women to share their stories and experience on social media using activist Tarana Burke’s #MeToo in early October. 

Dear Matt Damon,

When the hell are you going to learn your lesson?

In a recent interview on ABC’s Popcorn with Peter Travers you commented—again—about the widespread sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood and all the men who’ve fallen from their thrones. Your chat with host Peter Travers started out promising enough when you said “it’s great” that women “are feeling empowered” to tell their stories, but things got ugly real quick.

Responding to Travers’s question about how you, the superstar actor and father of daughters, are reacting to “the age of people charged with sexual misconduct” you said, “there’s a spectrum of behaviour,” then made some seriously messed-up statements.

You said: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” And then you explained: “Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

UM, WHAT THE ACTUAL F, DAMON. In Alyssa Milano’s Twitter essay, the actress addressed this outrageous comment directly.

Since your PR team didn’t lunge on set and smack duck tape across your mouth, you continued with your #wisewords:

“On this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen. OK? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behaviour, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”

Yes, I’m sure the women who were allegedly sexually harassed—the behaviour you categorize as “shameful and gross”—by powerful men like Dustin Hoffman or Matt Lauer also see it as such. I’m also sure that the women who say they were raped by your BFF Harvey Weinstein also think rape is a one-way ticket to “prison” since things are so fair and simple, right? Do you even know how the U.S. criminal justice system *really* works when it comes to sexual assault?

You see, despite thinking that your opinion is Very Important, your comments are not helpful—at all. Apart from being seriously harmful, your remarks also make you look like a misogynistic, idiotic, out-of-touch tool. This was once again highlighted when you started talking about disgraced comedian Louis C.K., who has masturbated in front of women without their consent.

“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 for 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.'”

There are so many things wrong with that entire bullshit line of thinking that I don’t even know where to start, but since you’re such a knob, I’ll try to break it down for you. First off, you say you don’t do “deep dives” on these things? YOU MEAN YOU DON’T READ THE NEWS?? That’s literally all you have to do, Damon. Pick up a copy of The New York Times or Washington Post and read more than a headline. They also have websites and apps if you’re more of a digital man. Ask one of your assistants to read the news to you if don’t like reading yourself (based on the way you conduct yourself in interviews that’s likely the case).

Second of all, Louis C.K. only said these things AFTER HE GOT CAUGHT. He didn’t own up or change his bad behaviour when women told him to stop or when he was reportedly confronted back in 2015. He just kept whipping out his dick, over and over again, until his horrific actions were finally made public.

Naturally, you had more golden thoughts on the sitch:

“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… 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.”

You also got into politics—because apparently you think you’re an expert on sexual assault in all workplaces now—and said that Al Franken, the U.S. Democratic Senator who has been accused of sexual misconduct, deserved to have an Ethics Committee investigation before he resigned. You also said that if one of your friends was accused of sexual assault (*cough* Ben and Casey Affleck), you’d “know the real story.”

Cool story, bro.

Some other of your winning comments include: “We live in this culture of outrage and injury,” “None of us came here perfect,” and “We’re so energized to kind of get retribution.” Have you been camping out in an underground bunker with Weinstein for the last two months???? HOW DO YOU THINK IT’S OK TO SAY THESE THINGS?!

Oh, and your advice to men who are accused of being sexual offenders? Deny, deny, deny!

“We’re in this moment where at the moment—and I hope it doesn’t stay this way—[where] the clear signal to men and to young people is, deny it. Because if you take responsibility for what you did, your life’s going to get ruined.”

Let me give you some free advice Damon: shut the f-ck up. Just stop talking and listen. Listen to the women who are brave enough to come forward and share their painful stories of sexual assault. Listen to your female colleagues, like Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, who have spoken out about widespread sexism and sexual assault in Hollywood. And for the love of god, also listen to LITERALLY ANY WOMAN who isn’t an A-list star who has experienced sexual harassment in her life. Ask women what they think of the shit you’ve been saying, and try to understand that you are part of the problem.

Because if you don’t stop making stupid comments, you’re adding noise to a conversation that doesn’t need to be derailed by you.

Related:
These Are the Worst Hollywood Reactions to the Harvey Weinstein Allegations
From Mario Batali to Larry King: An Ever-Expanding List of Post-Weinstein Accusations
How to Craft the *Perfect* Sexual Assault Statement

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