In December, Matt Damon found himself facing backlash over comments he made about sexual misconduct in Hollywood that had been revealed so openly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in September. In two separate interviews, the actor made a series of statements about his thoughts on the sexual misconduct scandals that have been rocking Hollywood.
In one interview, Matt Damon said that there is a big difference between someone patting someone on the butt versus someone molesting or raping a child. While he did make it clear that he knows that both behaviors are wrong and should be stopped, he also wanted people to understand that there is a difference in the two scenarios. Then in a second interview, Damon said that some of the discussion should be focused on the men who are not actually involved in inappropriate behavior.
While Matt Damon did not address the backlash that stemmed from those two interviews right away, it seems that now the actor is speaking up and apologizing for his comments, according to E! News. During a Today Show interview with Kathie Lee Gifford on January 16, the actor not only spoke about his current project to help bring clean drinking water to people who are living without it, but he also made it clear that he was sorry for speaking up and not listening first when it came to his comments about sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) January 16, 2018
Matt Damon shared with Gifford that he really wishes he had “listened more” to all of the people who had stepped forward about what had happened to them before he “weighed in” on the topic. Damon explained that he would never “want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say. So for that I am really sorry.”
When it comes to the #TimesUp movement that has been started, Matt Damon shared that many of these women who have stepped forward are his friends. The actor said that these are people that he loves and respects. He wants everyone to know that he is fully supportive of the people who have come forward to share their stories. Matt Damon said that going forward he really “want[s] to be a part of that change and want to go along for the ride, but I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
Although most of the Today interview was focused on Matt Damon’s work with Water.org, it was clear that the apology was also important for the actor. While it was Kathie Lee Gifford who brought the subject up, Damon had no problem immediately saying that he should have listened more and offered his support in a different way.
“A lot of those women are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change … But I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) January 16, 2018