Well since you asked, here are some choice thoughts from Matt Damon on the reckoning currently dismantling Hollywood one bad man at a time. In an interview with Peter Travers, Damon, who previously claimed he didn’t know about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct but then admitted Ben Affleck told him what allegedly happened to Gwyneth Paltrow, now says the consequences for such behavior should fit the crime. And, to his mind, not all such crimes are equal. “I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior,” he begins. “And we’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, 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, right?”
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There’s more: “All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum. And on this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen. Okay? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”
To answer his own questions, he provides a few examples of how certain accused predators should have been treated:
Louis C.K.: Excused.
The Louis C.K. thing, I don’t know all the details. I don’t do deep dives on this, but I did see his statement, which kind of, which [was] arresting to me. When he came out and said, “I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.” And I just remember thinking, “Well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that.”
I don’t know Louis C.K.. I’ve never met him. I’m a fan of his, but I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again. You know what I mean? I imagine the price that he’s paid at this point is so beyond anything that he — I just think that we have to kind of start delineating between what these behaviors are.
Al Franken: Gotta hear both sides.
I personally would have preferred if they had an Ethics Committee investigation, you know what I mean? It’s like at what point — you know, we’re so energized to kind of get retribution, I think.
When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera, going like that, you know, that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that … But when you talk about Harvey and what he’s accused of, there are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. There’s no witnesses. There’s no pictures. There’s no braggadocio … So they don’t belong in the same category.
Kevin Spacey: Bye Felicia.
That was smart. That was a total business decision by [Scott] Ridley. I haven’t talked to him, but … it wasn’t a creative choice for Ridley. Ridley has a big movie coming out … and nobody right now is in the mood to see a Kevin Spacey movie … And I don’t disagree with his decision to do that. I mean, that movie, I think, will do much better without Kevin in it.
Harvey Weinstein: I don’t know her.
[With regard to the rape allegations,] nobody who made movies for him knew … Any human being would have put a stop to that, no matter who he was. They would’ve said absolutely no. You know what I mean? … I knew I wouldn’t want him married to anyone close to me. But that was the extent of what we knew, you know? And that wasn’t a surprise to anybody. So when you hear Harvey this, Harvey that — I mean, look at the guy. Of course he’s a womanizer … I mean, I don’t hang out with him.
Casey Affleck, hypothetically: Probably excused.
It depends on what the accusation is. It depends what’s going on. If it’s a friend of mine, I’m always talking to them. I know the real story if it’s my friend.
A colleague, hypothetically: Gotta hear both sides.
If it’s a colleague … I don’t know … I guess it depends on the situation and the allegation and how believable I think it is.
Himself, hypothetically: Excused and lawyered the hell up.
Ten years ago, you made a claim against me and I had a big movie coming out, okay? I have $100 million or I have a movie that is personally important to me coming out, and close to the release of that film, you say, “Matt Damon grabbed my butt and stuck his tongue down my throat.” We would then go to mediation and organize a settlement. I’d go, “I don’t want this out there. Peter’s going to go out and talk to the press and run his mouth, and it’s going to be overshadowing the opening of this movie. How much money do you want?” The lawyers would get together, and they do this cost-benefit analysis, and they’d go, “Oh, this is what it’s worth.” And I look at the number and go, “Okay, I’ll pay it, but you can never talk about this again. You’re fucking lying about this, but never talk about this again.”