Under Fire: Matt Damon Slammed for Louis C.K. Defense - NBC Chicago

Under Fire: Matt Damon Slammed for Louis C.K. Defense

Damon asked if there wasn't a difference between those accused of sexual assault and less egregious antics

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    The Weinstein Ripple Effect

    Harvey Weinstein’s ouster from the Weinstein Company in light of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him is causing thousands of other women to speak up and speak out against powerful abusers in the workplace. (Published Monday, Dec. 11, 2017)

    Matt Damon dived deep into the sexual harassment controversy engulfing not only Hollywood but much of the country, and he's taking heavy fire for comments some believe defends those accused of committing sexual assault.

    In an interview with ABC News Damon made pains to condemn those accused of rape and sexual assault, but asked if there wasn't a difference between those accused of assault and less egregious antics. 

    "There's a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" Damon said in the interview. "Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right?"

    Damon was also criticized for an apparent defense of comedian Louis C.K., who came under fire after admitting to a pattern of sexual misconduct which included masturbating in front of female co-workers.

    "I don't imagine he's going to do those things again," Damon said of C.K. "You know what I mean? I imagine the price that he's paid at this point is so beyond anything that he — I just think that we have to kind of start delineating between what these behaviors are."

    "When (C.K.) came out and said, 'I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.' And I just remember thinking, well, that's the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that,'" Damon told ABC.

    Damon was roundly criticized on social media as being tone deaf to the larger issue of sexual harassment.

    But the condemnation on social media wasn't universal, as some came to Damon's defense believing there should be a distinction drawn between lesser and more grave offenses.

    Damon, a longtime collaborator of Harvey Weinstein's, reiterated he was unaware the movie mogul's alleged criminal misdeeds.