Alyssa Milano slammed Matt Damon after the Bourne actor attempted to mansplain sexual harassment during an appearance on ABC News’ Popcorn with Travers.
“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right?” Damon told the host after Travers asked him what he felt about the rising tide of sexual harassment allegations against men in powerful positions, attempting to explain his belief that all forms of sexual harassment were not one and the same thing.
“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?”
But while Damon might think that being the father of four girls entitles him to that opinion, it seems the Good Will Hunting actor may not really understand the nuances of the debate America is grappling with currently, or like he said on the show, he hasn’t “dived into all the details.” Damon even went on to call this widespread coming out as a “culture of outrage,” which is not really precise but could paint a picture of some women speaking out against sexual predatory behavior as being more credible than other women sharing their experiences. It is not the separate cases of sexual harassment that is baffling and shaming America’s men, but the culture of complicity among men which may provide a breeding ground for such behavior, something Alyssa Milano drove home in her response to Matt Damon’s comments.
The Charmed actress took to Twitter to post an open letter to Damon, telling him precisely where he is wrong about his conclusions about the current debate.
“Dear Matt Damon, It’s the micro that makes the macro. We are in a ‘culture of outrage’ because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous. And it is righteous,” she said, before comparing sexual harassment to cancer, a disease which knows no demarcations.
“I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted–even welcomed– misogyny. We are not outraged because someone grabbed our a**es 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.
“Sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence is a systemic disease. The tumor is being cut out right now with no anesthesia. Please send flowers.
Damon’s controversial statements have also angered other women, many of them expressing their anger on social media. Most pointed out that Damon’s comments reeked of class and gender privilege. Others said that although people like Damon are not sexual predators themselves, it is this sort of complicity and willingness to forgive his peers which emboldens other men who might have similar skeletons in their closets.