Matt Damon has vowed to listen and learn from the Time’s Up campaigners after apologizing for controversial comments he recently made about sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
The Bourne Identity star found himself under fire last month (Dec17) after attempting to argue that inappropriate behavior should be tackled according to its level of severity.
In the awkward ABC News interview, he said, “I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary… (but) I do believe there’s a spectrum of behavior… There’s a difference between 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.”
After facing a huge backlash, including heavy criticism from his ex-girlfriend and Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver, Matt now admits he was wrong to have offered up his thoughts on the timely topic without fully educating himself first.
“I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” the 47-year-old confessed to TV presenter Kathie Lee Gifford during a Tuesday appearance on Today. “Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain, with anything that I do or say, so for that I’m really sorry.”
Damon went on to insist he wants to be a part of the current movement for change in Hollywood, because he truly believes in the celebrity-backed cause.
“Time’s Up, a lot of those women (taking part in the campaign) are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing,” he shared, “and (I) want 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.”
Actresses including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams are among the star supporters of the Time’s Up movement, as is Damon’s The Martian co-star Jessica Chastain.
She previously defended Matt as a “really good guy” after he was dragged into the sex scandal surrounding disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in October (17). The actor was alleged to have intervened in a 2004 expose about the producer’s behavior as an alleged serial sexual predator, prompting the journalist’s editors at The New York Times to drastically scale back claims made in the piece following calls from Weinstein’s collaborators Damon and Russell Crowe.
Both men denied the reports, with Matt insisting he only agreed to vouch for the professionalism of Fabrizio Lombardo – the head of the Italian office of Weinstein’s former production company Miramax – in a brief phone call to the reporter, Sharon Waxman, and had no idea the article centered on Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct and of claims suggesting Lombardo was responsible for procuring beautiful women for the 65-year-old film boss.