Men, Stop Sharing Your Trash Opinions About Sexual Harassment And Assault

by Erika W. Smith



Over the past few months, countless brave women as well as some courageous men in Hollywood, politics, journalism, farming and other industries have come forward to share their experiences with sexual harassment and assault and call for a safer working environment. We’ve seen accused rapists like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Russell Simmons have their careers damaged or destroyed after their victims came forward. We’ve seen celebrities like Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Anthony Rapp, Terry Crews and many more use their platforms to share their experiences and call for change.

Enter Matt Damon.

The Boston bro has now not once but twice times shared his terrible opinions about how sexual harassment is really not that bad while promoting his movie Honey, I Shrunk Myself (er sorry, Downsizing). You’d think that after journalist Sharon Waxman published an essay about how Damon was instrumental in killing her Weinstein expose in 2004, or after the outcry against Damon’s support of accused sexual assaulter Casey Affleck last year, Damon would know to keep his mouth shut. But no! Last week, in a television interview with ABC News (caught by Vulture), he shared a whole bunch of trash opinions about sexual harassment and assault, including saying that the sexual harassment accusations against Louis CK and Al Franken aren’t that bad because they didn’t, like, rape anyone, ya know? (“I don’t know Louis C.K.. I’ve never met him. I’m a fan of his, but I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again. 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”). Damon also said that he might work with someone accused of sexual assault (“I guess it depends on the situation and the allegation and how believable I think it is”). (Like I said, he’s already worked with and defended Casey Affleck, so.) 

After getting plenty of criticism from both the media and other celebs, including his ex Minnie Driver, Damon…gave another trash interview in which he shared more trash opinions about sexual harassment and assault, telling Business Insider, basically, #NotAllMen. (“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—load 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. If I have to sign a sexual-harassment thing, I don’t care, I’ll sign it. I would have signed it before. I don’t do that, and most of the people I know don’t do that.”)

Matt Damon…shut up.

And it’s not only Matt Damon. During a recent appearance at Oxford Union reported on by the Huffington Post, Ian McKellen, aka fucking GANDALF, shared some of his own trash opinions on sexual harassment and assault. He said that when he was working in theater in the 1960s, it was common for actresses seeking jobs to send photos to directors indicating they would sleep with the director in exchange for work. McKellen described these actresses as, “people who proposed that they should be a victim.” He also implied that he thinks some of the recent sexual assault accusations are lies and that we #gottahearbothsides: “I assume nothing but good will come out of these revelations, even though some people of course get wrongly accused — there’s that side of it as well.”

Of course, some women have also shared trash opinions on sexual harassment (cough cough Donna Karan cough cough). But in both the media and in my personal life, those trash opinions are mostly coming, unsurprisingly, from men. 

So. Celebrities and also everyone else: If you think you have an opinion about sexual harassment that you think we really really need to hear, and that opinion boils down to something like “Well, groping isn’t rape, so it’s nbd, right?” or “But what if women are lying, though??” Please. Keep it. Shut up. Listen to the people speaking out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Try to learn something! And if you can’t learn something, then please. At least. Just. Keep. Quiet.

top photo: Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, Ian McKellen in the Fellowship Of the Ring 

More from BUST

Minnie Driver Explains Why Men (Especially Matt Damon) Should Have No Part In The #MeToo Movement

Donna Karan Says Weinstein’s Victims Were “Asking For It”

Terry Crews Shares His Sexual Assault Story And Sends A Powerful Message About How Survivors Are Silenced



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