At this point, Matt Damon may be better off just not talking.
The actor, who’s busy promoting his new movie, “Downsizing,” was asked about the sexual harassment allegations roiling Hollywood, and again his answer was met with anger and derision online.
In an interview with Business Insider, Damon said there are a whole lot of men who don’t do the sorts of things Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing, but no one seems to be talking about them.
“We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole [expletive] of guys — the preponderance of men I’ve worked with — who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected,” Damon said. “If I have to sign a sexual-harassment thing, I don’t care, I’ll sign it. I would have signed it before. I don’t do that, and most of the people I know don’t do that.”
Predictably perhaps, Damon’s comments elicited a negative reaction on social media, with many people mocking Damon for using the “not all men” argument, defined by Vox as “a common rebuttal used (most often) by men in conversations about gender in order to exempt themselves from criticism of common male behaviors.” Among feminist writers, it’s become a humorous meme used to mock people, usually men, viewed as trying to derail genuine discussion of gender issues.
(Matt Damon bursts into trial for serial killer)— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) December 19, 2017
“Why are we wasting time on this when we should be talking about all the men who AREN’T serial killers!”
Just saw an ad for Matt Damon's new movie "Downsizing," and I said, "Geez, that looks stupid."— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) December 19, 2017
Without missing a beat, my husband said, "You should be talking about all the movies that don't look stupid, babe."
Damon previously came under attack for saying he doesn’t believe Louis C.K. is “going to do those things again,” and that allegations of sexual misconduct need to be analyzed “on a spectrum of behavior.”
Actress Minnie Driver, Damon’s “Good Will Hunting” costar and onetime girlfriend, told The Guardian that Damon should not have spoken out the way he did.
“In the same stereotypical way that we see women being supportive of men in their endeavors,” Driver told the publication, “I feel that’s what women need of men in this moment. They need men to lean on and not question. Men can rally and they can support, but I don’t think its appropriate, per se, for men to have an opinion about how women should be metabolising abuse. Ever.”
Not everyone agrees. Some observers argue that Damon is right that all misconduct is not equal.