Matt Damon is apologizing for remarks he made in December about the #MeToo movement. The Oscar winning actor was criticized for suggesting that there is a spectrum of sexual harassment in Hollywood and that not all such behavior is equally bad.
During an interview with ABC News about his latest film, Downsizing, Damon was asked about his take on the slew of men being accused of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. Damon explained that there is a big difference between patting someone on the rear and rape or child molestation. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated,” he said.
Damon was quickly confronted by many famous people, including actresses Alyssa Milano and his former girlfriend and co-star, Minnie Driver, as well as plenty of not-so-famous people.
In the video above, Damon tells me that after reflecting on his remarks, he believes the criticism he received was fair.
“I wish I’d listened before I weighed in on it,” he said. “I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I say or do, and I’m sorry for that.”
Damon said that he wants to be along for the ride when it comes to stamping out sexual harassment in Hollywood, but that “I should be in the backseat. I take direction for a living, and I’m ready to take direction.”
As for the Time’s Up movement, Damon says he supports the legal defense fund that was begun by 300 of Hollywood’s most powerful women, including Shonda Rhimes, Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon. The fund aims to help underprivileged women—and men—fight against sexual harassment and assault.
“A lot of those women are my good friends,” said Damon. “And I really respect what they’re doing. I want to be a part of it.”
Damon made the comments at an event in New York City where he was generating some pre-game buzz for his Super Bowl commercial featuring his non-profit Water.org and beer maker Stella Artois.