Matt Damon spent October in a haze of denial, his shifting stories coming across as less and less believable as he tried to explain what he knew and when he knew it about Harvey Weinstein. His first version was that he never knew anything about anything with Weinstein. Then he admitted that, oh right, Ben Affleck had told him that Weinstein had harassed Gwyneth Paltrow. Then Matt settled on a defense of “well I never saw Harvey Weinstein rape anyone right in front of me.” To be clear, Matt Damon is not responsible for Harvey Weinstein. But it came across as really sh-tty for Matt to play dumb, like he had been consciously oblivious to everything bad about Weinstein.
Well, Matt Damon is currently promoting Downsizing. He’s being very quiet about it, hoping that he doesn’t get any questions about Weinstein. He sat down for an interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, and it ended up being a rather in-depth conversation about Weinstein and the unfolding Sex Predator-gate 2017 bulls–t. You can see the interview here. There’s a ton of really f–king problematic sh-t here, quite honestly. Okay, deep breath. Let’s get started.
Matt thinks people need to moderate their reactions depending on the abuse: “I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary … 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? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right? You know, we see somebody like Al Franken, right? — 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. And we live in this culture of outrage and injury, and, you know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, “Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.”
On Louis CK: “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” … Like, when I’m raising my kids, this constant personal responsibility is as important as anything else they learn before they go off in the world.
The continuum of abuse: “I mean, look, as I said, all of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum. And 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 behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross, and I just think … 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.
Al Franken & Harvey Weinstein are different: “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.
On the rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein: “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…. So the question is, at what point does somebody’s behavior that you have a professional relationship with … away from the profession bother enough that you don’t want to work with them? For me, I’ve always kind of, you know, as long as nobody’s committing a crime — well, that’s your life, and you go live it. I don’t need to be spending time with you, away from my professional life, at least.
What he would do if a friend came to him with a #MeToo story: “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.
On confidentiality agreements: “I also think the day of the confidentiality agreements is over. I think it’s just completely over. 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 f—— lying about this, but never talk about this again. Now … with social media, these stories get — it’s like they get gasoline poured on them. So the moment a claim is made, if you make that same claim today to me, I would be scorched earth. I’d go, “I don’t care if it costs $10 million to fight this in court with you for 10 years, you are not taking my name from me. You are not taking my name and my reputation from me. I’ve worked too hard for it. And I earned it. You can’t just blow me up like that.” So I think once a claim is made, there will no longer be settlements. That’s just my prediction, I mean, just based on what I’ve seen.
I’m so f–king tired of all of this, this entitled white male privilege and bullsh-t and assholery. I was done with this as soon as he started defending Louis CK’s character, but he just kept digging and digging. If you go to Matt Damon and tell him that one of his bros groped you, he would be like “well, I don’t know you well enough to believe you, and anyway it’s just a sexual assault, it’s not like you were raped, so you need to shut up. And I hope he sues you for saying that.” That’s basically it. I am so tired of this. I’m so tired of him. He is the problem. Dear commenters: light him up. Scorched earth style.
Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.