Actor Matt Damon said on Tuesday he needs to close his mouth for a while when it comes to the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements focusing on sexual harassment after he made a series of controversial comments.
“A lot of those women are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change,” Damon told NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford. “But I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
Damon admitted that he wishes he “listened” to the circumstances before chiming in, saying he wasn’t a good listener when it came to women coming forward with sexual misconduct claims against powerful Hollywood men.
“I don’t want to further anybody’s pain,” Damon said. “I’m really sorry.”
Last month, Damon said that men who aren’t sexual predators should be talked about more and his comments drew rebuke from celebrities just a few days after he was criticized for another statement about recent sexual misconduct allegations.
Damon said that there was a “whole s---load of guys” who aren’t sexual predators that go unnoticed.
"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," Damon told Business Insider.
He added, "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."
When asked if he would quit a movie if a Hollywood figure working on the project was accused of sexual misconduct, Damon responded: "I mean, I wouldn't want to work with somebody who — life's too short for that. But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis. You go, 'What's the story here?'"
Several celebrities, including Debra Messing and Rose McGowan, fired back at the 47-year-old actor for his comments at the time.
“Matt Damon- SERIOUSLY? You are a smart man. A privileged, white man. This is NOT the time to ask for a pat on the back," Messing tweeted. "How about we NOT celebrate men who are simply decent human beings. Stay on track, Matt. It's not about you."
McGowan, who has claimed Harvey Weinstein raped her, also tweeted: "Matt Damon is dense AF."
Damon was also criticized last year after he said in an interview with ABC News’ “Popcorn with Peter Travers” that different actions shouldn’t be placed in the same category.
"There's a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right?" Damon said.
Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.