Oceans 8: Activists demand Matt Damon be axed from film
ACTIVISTS have called on the producers of female-led film Ocean's 8 to snip Matt Damon's scenes from the final cut after his controversial sexual harassment comments.
The 47-year-old US actor has found himself in hot water in the media over the past week in relation to his opinions on the sexual misconduct issue in Hollywood.
"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, right?" Damon said in an interview.
"Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right?"
His comments have outraged thousands of activists, who have created a petition via social networking platform Care2 to get his cameo booted from the crime thriller, starring Sandra Bullock, which has so far been signed by more than 13,000 people.
"Damon recently gave an interview where said he'd still work people who had been accused of sexual misconduct, on a "case-by-case" basis," the petition reads.
"This behaviour is beyond enabling - it's just gross.
"Damon's inclusion (in the movie) would trivialise the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein - a show of massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out.
"It would also 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.
"I'm calling on Oceans 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to toss Damon's Oceans 8 cameo where it belongs: on the cutting room floor."
Damon has recently been accused of helping to kill a Harvey Weinstein harassment story in 2004, an allegation which he fiercely denies.
However, he admitted that he was told Weinstein, whom he has worked with a number of times, had harassed Gwyneth Paltrow decades ago but remained silent. He has since distanced himself from the disgraced film producer.
The call to get Damon cut from the film comes after Kevin Spacey's scenes were cut from the upcoming movie All the Money in the World, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against the star.