Matt Damon appeared on Good Morning America today to discuss the sexual harassment, assault, and rape allegations related to Harvey Weinstein, and Hollywoof at large. Actress Lupita N'yongo is the latest star to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Director James Toback has also been accused of sexual harassment by 38 woman; journalist Glenn Whipp, who broke at that story at the Los Angeles Times, says that number has now doubled.
On GMA, Damon was accompanied by George Clooney. Clooney has previously spoken out about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, stating that his actions are "indefensible."
“When people say everybody knew, yeah, I knew he was an asshole. He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy... but this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not. I knew the story about Gwyneth [Paltrow] from Ben, because he was with her after Brad. I knew that story, but I was working with Gwyneth, with Harvey, on [The Talented Mr. Ripley]. I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to. [Gwyneth] had handled it."
Whether or not Paltrow "handled" it is not really Damon's assertion to make. Sexual harassment and assault victims often continue a relationship with the accused, whether its professional, personal, or sexual. It does not cancel out what Paltrow went through. She told the New York Times that “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified." When Damon says that the situation between Paltrow and Weinstein was "handled," what he really means is, "by minimizing the situations I am absolving myself of complicity."
As for the term "womanizer," we can't help but feel like it is another way for Damon to turn a blind eye. Insisting that all encounters are consensual because Weinstein is some kind of playboy is exactly the attitude that allowed him (and others like him) to prey on women for so long. The archetype of the male cheating cassanova belies the power structure that allows that behavior to flourish unabated. It's just another to validate Weinstein's actions.
You can watch the segment below.
Read These Stories Next