Actor Matt Damon is being excoriated on social media for saying a very simple, but apparently controversial, thing about sexual harassment.
What did he say?
Much of the furor seemed to surround his comment that there is a spectrum of sexual harassment, and in the current hysteria over all the claims, they're being equated unfairly.
"I think we’re in this watershed moment," Damon said. "I think it’s great. I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary."
"Do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right?" he added. "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?"
"You know, we see somebody like Al Franken, right?" he explained. "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."
What was the reaction?
Damon was nearly universally bashed on social media by those who thought his comments were not sufficiently liberal on the subject of sexual harassment.
Actress Alyssa Milano explained in a Twitter thread why his comments were unacceptable:
Dear Matt Damon, It’s the micro that makes the macro. (Thread)— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) 1513387287.0
We are in a “culture of outrage” because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous. And it is righteous.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017
I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted--even welcomed-- misogyny.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017
We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017
Benoit writes for GQ:
Sorry to report that Matt Damon and Ben affleck , the men behind classic films such as What If Someone From Boston… https://t.co/yBcZvZEtKx— Sophia Benoit (@Sophia Benoit) 1513367395.0
Liberal Think Progress editor Judd Legum said simply, "Matt Damon has some thoughts about sexual predators in Hollywood that everyone should ignore."
The problem with responses like the ones Tom Hanks & Matt Damon gave today is that men are taught their opinion is… https://t.co/D16jjR2GKE— Allison Gilbert (@Allison Gilbert) 1513306500.0
A few disagreed, like Emma Vigeland of The Young Turks, a far left YouTube channel:
Serious question: What did Matt Damon say that was wrong? There IS a difference between what Louis C.K. and Weinst… https://t.co/3bVac0uTFM— Emma Vigeland (@Emma Vigeland) 1513368441.0