Matt Damon apologized for the comments he made about sexual harassment in Hollywood that caused a backlash against the actor.
“I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” the 47 year-old actor shared Tuesday during his appearance on the “Today” show when asked by host Kathy Gifford what he had learned from the criticism. (RELATED: Matt Damon Downplays Sexual Misconduct In Hollywood)
“I think ultimately what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything I do or say, so for that, I’m really sorry,” he added. “[With] Time’s Up, 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 the ride, but I should get in the backseat and close my mouth for a while.”
The remarks come in response to comments he made in December during an interview on “Popcorn with Peter Travers” about the #MeToo campaign. The “Jason Bourne” star said that, while he supports the women speaking out in Hollywood, it was important for people not to mix up sexual harassment with sexual assault.
“I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary,” Damon explained. “I do believe there’s a spectrum of behavior… There’s 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 shouldn’t be conflated.”
When the Harvey Weinstein allegations of sexual harassment and assault first became public knowledge, Damon said he did not know about Weinstein’s behavior. Later, however, the actor changed course and admitted that he knew about an instance of sexual harassment between Weinstein and Paltrow, as well as Weinstein’s womanizing tendencies.