An online petition asking for the removal of actor Matt Damon from the female-centered movie “Ocean’s 8”, following his controversial comments about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, is nearing its target. The petition has reached more than 18,000 signatures, less than a thousand shy of its objective of getting 19,000 signatures.
The petition argues that Damon’s inclusion in the film would only succeed in trivializing “the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein- a show massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out.”
The petition also says having Damon in the movie regardless of what he said would only “send a terrible message about the inevitability of -and lack of accountability for sexual harassment in the workplace that four in ten American women experience.”
The “Jason Bourne” star drew strong flak after an interview with ABC News where he claimes some sexual harassment cases are worse than others. Those who criticized Damon said the star does not understand what the #MeToo movement is all about.
Damon was intensely slammed when he said in that interview: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?”
The former Barack Obama friend and supporter also added to ABC News’ Peter Travers: “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
The 47-year-old actor further aggravated the offended sensibilities and feelings of those affected by his statements in the ABC News interview when he gave another interview to Business Insider where he stated that he would work with accused harassers since what matters is a given project’s story.
One of Hollywood’s leading actors said: “I mean, I wouldn’t want to work with somebody who- life’s too short for that. But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis. You go, ‘What’s the story here?’”
Damon has worked with Harvey Weinstein in the past, including on his breakout film that catapulted him to his A-list status, “Good Will Hunting” with his close friend Ben Affleck.
Damon starred in the “Ocean’s 11” franchise. The spin-off “Ocean’s 8” features big female stars Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling.
The actor actually was only meant to have a cameo in the upcoming film, although his appearance in the project has been highly publicized. But for those he has offended, it matters not if it’s a leading role or mere special appearance, if Damon can’t understand #MeToo, then they also want him out of the project like the rest of those accused of sexual harassment or assault who had previously lost projects due to the allegations including Kevin Spacey.