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Matt Damon slammed for 'tone-deaf' comments on sexual assault

Actor's former co-star Minnie Driver was among those to criticise him for his remarks

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 16 December 2017 13:50
Minnie Driver lambasts Matt Damon's response to sexual misconduct scandal

Matt Damon has attracted criticism over his comments about sexual assault in a controversial interview where he said society was experiencing a "culture of outrage".

In a preview clip of an upcoming edition of ABC’s Popcorn with Peter Travers, Damon said: “I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary.

"I do believe there’s a spectrum of behaviour … There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" he continued. "Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated.”

Damon, who said that he didn’t know about Harvey Weinstein’s history of alleged sexual misconduct, recently admitted Ben Affleck told him what happened to his then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow during an encounter with Weinstein.

In the ABC interview he spoke out against Weinstein's alleged behaviour but also appeared to suggest that disgraced comedian Louis CK could be forgiven.

A spokesperson for Weinstein said he denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, and also denies there were any acts of retaliation against women for refusing his advances.

Actress Minnie Driver, who opened up about her on experience of sexual assault last year and who dated Damon for a short time after starring with him in 1997's Good Will Hunting, reacted angrily to Damon's comments.

Former Charmed star Alyssa Milano, who helped bring the #MeToo campaign to international attention, tweeted an open letter addressing Damon's comments where she wrote: “It’s the micro that makes the macro.”

“I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak," she continued.

"They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalised, accepted — even welcomed — misogyny. We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture.

"We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long."

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