Celebrities

Matt Damon Calls Backlash Over ‘Tone-Deaf’ #MeToo Comments ‘Painful’

The ‘Good Will Hunting’ star discusses the controversy surrounding his ‘tone-deaf’ remarks about sexual assault amid Harvey Weinstein scandal four years ago.

AceShowbizMatt Damon struggled with the backlash over comments he made about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.

The “Bourne Identity” star put his foot in his mouth in December 2017 after downplaying certain types of sexual harassment in his reaction to the revelations about the former Miramax boss’ predatory history.

At the time, he stated there was “a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation,” adding, “Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

His remarks were not received well by activists who called him “tone deaf” for what he added to the ongoing drama related to women’s rights, equality and harassment.

In a new GQ cover story, published on Wednesday (08Sep21), Matt revealed the backlash from the #MeToo movement was “painful.”

“It’s hard to take punches for things,” Matt said. “(People were saying), ‘He’s tone-deaf…,’ (and I thought), ‘I don’t like that guy either.’ It’s hard to hear those things about yourself.”

An unnamed female friend wisely advised him not to react to the outcry but to “be quiet for at least a month and just listen.”

“That’s what I did,” Damon said. “My friend’s advice was great in the sense of not getting in a defensive crouch – because that was my inclination, and you can’t hear anything in a defensive crouch – and as painful as it is, the only way forward is to really try to understand what you’ve done and really reflect on it.”

He realised he was guilty, as some writers at the time insisted, of “centring a man in a sexual assault situation.”

“And I go, ‘Wow, I did do that. I thought of it entirely from his perspective.’ Like, that’s where my head went. So it changed the way that I look at some of these things. It makes me hopefully more aware.”

After keeping mum for a whole month, Damon eventually apologised. He also decided, “Nobody needs to hear from me for another year at least.”

Last month (Aug21), Matt sparked outrage again when he revealed he was retiring a certain “f-slur,” and that he had been using the anti-gay term up until the point his daughter asked him not to say it anymore.

He later issued a statement clarifying he’s never used “slurs of any kind,” adding, “I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”

He declined to elaborate on the issue to the GQ interviewer.

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