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'There's a Difference.' Matt Damon Criticized Over Sexual Misconduct Comments

'There's a Difference.' Matt Damon Criticized Over Sexual Misconduct Comments
From TIME - December 15, 2017

Matt Damon has drawn some criticism for saying the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations dont all cary the same weight.

I think its wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and its totally necessary, Damon, 47, explained in a preview clip of an upcoming edition of ABCs Popcorn with Peter Travers released Thursday. I do believe theres a spectrum of behavior Theres 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 shouldnt be conflated.

In comparing allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K., Damon singled out C.K. for the comedians remorseful response to the controversy.

Thats the sign of somebody whowell, we can work with that, Damon, a father of four daughters, said of C.K.. Like, when Im raising my kids, this constant personal responsibility is as important as anything else they learn before they go off in the world.

I dont know Louis C.K.. Ive never met him. Im a fan of his, but I dont imagine hes going to do those things again, Damon added. You know what I mean? I imagine the price that hes paid at this point is so beyond anything.

Damon also noted the differences between Franken and Weinstein. Franken announced on Dec. 7 hell be resigning from his senate seat following allegations that began with a 2006 photo of the politician groping broadcaster Leeann Tweeden. Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault and rape by multiple women.

When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that womans flak jacket and mugging for the camera that is just like a terrible joke, and its not funny. Its wrong, and he shouldnt have done that, Damon said. But when you talk about Harvey and what hes accused of, there are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. Theres no witnesses. Theres no pictures. Theres no braggadocio. That stuff happened secretly, because it was criminal and he knew it. So they dont belong in the same category.

A lot of people said, Well, Harveyeverybody knewthats not true, Damon continued. Everybody knew what kind of guy he was in the sense that if you took a meeting with him, you knew that he was tough and he was a bully, and that was his reputation. [But with regard to the rape allegations,] nobody who made movies for him knewAny human being would have put a stop to that, no matter who he was.

(In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinsteins attorneys, Blair Berk and Benjamin Brafman, previously said: Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct. There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.)

Damon also discussed Spacey, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple men beginning with Star Trek star Anthony Rapp, who claimed in a Buzzfeed News report that the 58-year-old Oscar winner made inappropriate sexual advances toward him at a private party in New York City in 1986 when Rapp was just 14. The Downsizing star praised director Ridley Scotts decision to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the upcoming film All the Money in the World.

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