Good Will Hunting star Matt Damon doesn’t seem to be creating goodwill with some fans of the Ocean’s franchise. There is now a petition demanding the removal of his cameo in the upcoming reboot, in which he is set to reprise his role as Linus.
Damon has sparked controversy with his comments about sexual harassment allegations engulfing Hollywood, and the petition calls upon Ocean’s 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to leave Damon’s limited scenes on the cutting-room floor. In other words, there is sentiment for the Downsizing star to be downsized out of Ocean’s 8.
Ocean’s 8 features an all-female cast, including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, and Mindy Kaling. At this writing, the petition has recorded nearly 20,000 signatures from those who apparently agree that Damon should be edited out of the movie, which is scheduled to premiere on June 8, 2018.
The petition sponsor suggests that it is inappropriate to include Damon in a movie that spotlights female empowerment because, among other things, he supposedly enabled the behavior of Harvey Weinstein by allegedly helping to suppress a 2004 New York Times expose about the movie mogul’s alleged sexual misconduct.
“Matt Damon should not be in this movie. Damon’s inclusion would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein — a show [of] massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out.”
The allegations against Weinstein opened the floodgates for similar charges against various other luminaries in the media and entertainment industries, along with those in the political world and the sports culture.
“Damon denied trying to bury the [New York Times] story and claimed he had no idea of the allegations against Weinstein, who helped catapult him into an international household name,” AFP recalled, while also noting that Matt’s pal, Ben Affleck, and Ben’s brother, Casey, also face sexual misbehavior accusations.
“The actor has received criticism for his recent comments on the #MeToo movement,” People noted. This includes attempting to draw a distinction between the act of patting someone on the rear end, as opposed to rape or molestation, which, in his view, should not be conflated.
Currently promoting his new film Downsizing, Damon also told Business Insider that most men in Hollywood don’t engage in sexual harassment, but he also admitted that moving forward, he might work with someone who was so accused, depending upon the specific, case-by-case circumstances.
While impressive, 20,000 signatures constitute something of a drop in the ocean when it comes to box office projections. If the petition drive continues to pick up steam, however, who knows if Damon’s small role will make it to the finished product.
Separately, back in August 2013, as the Inquisitr reported at the time, Matt Damon opened himself up to charges of hypocrisy in some quarters when he decided to send his kids to private school after relocating from New York City to Los Angeles. The Hollywood star is known for his support of teachers unions and more funding for public schools and opposition to merit pay initiatives in the public schools. The actor/activist apparently also opposes school choice.