Matt Damon Skips Film Premiere amid Backlash over Sexual Harassment Comments

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: Matt Damon appears on stage at 'The Monuments Men' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 8, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Actor Matt Damon apparently skipped the premiere for his latest sci-fi movie Downsizing on Monday, days after receiving intense backlash following his comments about sexual harassment in Hollywood.

Damon, 47, did not attend the Monday night premiere at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, days after being widely mocked for arguing that men who didn’t engage in sexually predatory behavior were not receiving enough attention.

“We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s**tload of guys – the preponderance of men I’ve worked with – who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected,” Damon said in an interview with Business Insider. “I don’t do that, and most of the people I know don’t do that.”

However, a representative for Paramount Pictures told The Hollywood Reporter that the Oscar-winning actor was “dealing with an ongoing family matter,” with sources claiming his father was ill.

The week before, Damon also appeared to excuse Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) alleged serial-groping as a “terrible joke” and said that he “can work with” Louis CK, after the comedian admitted to masturbating in front of numerous women over a number of years.

“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right,” he said in an interview with ABC’s Peter Travers. “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.”

“Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

In October, it emerged that Damon had apparently helped lobby The New York Times in 2004 to spike a story revealing allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein, by “vouching” for the credentials of then-recently appointed head of Miramax Italy, Fabrizio Lombardo, who had reportedly been appointed to the role solely to arrange escorts for Weinstein.

 

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