Matt Damon apologized for his controversial remarks regarding the #MeToo movement and recent sexual misconduct revelations on the “Today” show Tuesday morning.
While discussing Damon’s upcoming Super Bowl ad, Kathie Lee Gifford asked the “Downsizing” actor about the backlash he received over comments made on ABC News’ “Popcorn With Peter Travers,” where he said sexual misconduct should be judged on a “spectrum of behavior.” “I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” Damon told Gifford. “Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say. And so for that I’m really sorry.”
Of the #TimesUp movement, Damon said, “A lot of those women are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change and want to go along for that ride. But I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
During his controversial interview with Peter Travors last month, Damon said, “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?” he added.
His comments earned him backlash on social media, including from his “Good Will Hunting” co-star Minnie Driver. “God God, SERIOUSLY?” Driver tweeted in response. When a user tried to defend Damon, Driver replied, “No. You don’t get to be hierarchical with abuse. And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped.”
Damon also generated controversy with an interview with Business Insider last month. “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 s—load 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,” he said.