Matt Damon has been criticised as “tone deaf” for his recent comments about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
The actor and writer is facing a backlash on social media for saying people should be paying more attention to men who are not sexual predators.
In an interview for Business Insider on Monday, Damon said men not involved in sexual misconduct in Hollywood are not gaining attention.
“We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is… the preponderance of men I’ve worked with who don’t do this kind of thing,” he said during an interview while promoting his new film Downsizing.
The actor’s name was trending on Twitter on Tuesday in reaction to the remarks, plus others he has made recently.
Many social media users condemned the actor for suggesting not being a sexual predator was an accomplishment.
It is not the first time Damon has commented on sexual abuse following rape allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Last week in an interview with ABC News Damon said groping and rape were two different things and shouldn’t be treated the same.
“There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Damon told ABC’S ‘Popcorn’ with Peter Travers
“Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of rape, called Damon “dense” for his most recent comments.
Both sets of remarks drew criticism from other actresses, including from his Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver – who said Damon was among those to be “utterly tone deaf” on the topic – and Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano, in a frank thread on Twitter.
Milano’s tweet in October urging people to share their stories of sexual harassment on social media initiated the global #MeToo movement.
Millions of women and men used the hashtag to highlight the sexual abuse they had faced.
Despite much of the reaction condemning Damon’s comments there has been some defence of his remarks.
Damon has come under the spotlight before regarding allegations against Weinstein.
He previously denied trying to stop a story about the producer’s behaviour when it was investigated by a reporter in 2004.
Sharon Waxman has said she looked into rumours an employee of Weinstein’s in Italy was procuring women for him. She said Damon and Russell Crowe called her to vouch for the employee.
But Damon has said he did not know the detail of the allegations. “I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that,” he told Deadline.
Waxman, who then worked for the New York Times, was ultimately unable to publish any allegations relating to Weinstein’s sexual behaviour.
In October, Damon gave an interview with his Ocean’s 11 co-star George Clooney in which both actors called Weinstein, who produced some of their most successful early movies, a bully.
Damon also said “this level of sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on”.