Matt Damon apologizes for sexual misconduct remarks

Matt Damon is reflecting on comments he made about sexual misconduct in Hollywood, now wishing he had taken more time to listen before speaking out.

“Boy, I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” he explained on the Todayshow on Tuesday, January 16. When coanchor Kathie Lee Gifford replied that he is a good listener, the actor said: “Not in this case.”

As previously reported, 47-year-old Damon came under fire for defending what he claimed to be the majority of men in Hollywood amid the #MeToo movement. “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 in December. “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.”

The actor was almost immediately bashed by several A-list stars including Debra Messing, Rose McGowan and Cher. “This is NOT the time to ask for a pat on the back,” Messing tweeted. Cher added: “Matt Damon is the epitome of a faux ally whose performative wokeness is more about servicing his own ego than the needs of the oppressed & disenfranchised.

Damon also made controversial comments on the subject to ABC News earlier that month. “I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior. 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, right?” he said. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

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Matt Damon through the years
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Matt Damon through the years
Brendan Fraiser, Matt Damon, Randel Batinkoff and Guest at the Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Matt Damon (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Matt Damon (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Matt Damon at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1274 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Matt Damon during an interview with host Jay Leno on December 1, 1997 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Matt Damon during 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
BOSTON, : Oscar winning actor Matt Damon from Cambridge, Massachusetts, signs autographs prior to the Home-Run Derby during the 70th Baseball All-Star Week12 July, 1999, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The All-Star will be played 13 July between the American and National Leagues. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
368219 04: Actor Matt Damon stars as Rannulph Junuh in Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance, to be distributed domestically by DreamWorks. (Photo by David James/Newsmakers)
385569 20: (NO WHO WEEKLY) FILE PHOTO: Actor Matt Damon attends the world premiere of his new film 'All The Pretty Horses' December 10, 2000 at the Beekman Theater in New York City. A Rhodesian Ridgeback dog who resembles actor Matt Damon 'especially in the eyes' says his owner, participated in an audition for pets that look like celebrities February 15, 2001 at Universal Studios in Burbank, CA. The dog was one of several dozens pets competing for a video spot on 'Animal Planet Live', a new attraction at Universal Studios. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Liaison)
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 12: (Publicist approval required for ALL usages) Actor Matt Damon on the set during filming of 'The Bourne Identity' on January 12, 2001 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Matt Damon attends the European premiere of 'The Martian' at Odeon Leicester Square on September 24, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
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Now, amid the Time’s Up movement, which helps provide legal aid for victims of sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace, it seems the actor has taken the backlash into deep consideration. “I think, ultimately, what it is for me is I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say,” he said on Tuesday. “So for that, I’m really sorry. This whole Time’s Up [movement], 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 and go along for that ride.”

Regarding “that ride,” he quipped: “I should get in the backseat and close my mouth for a while.”

Damon also revealed that he and wife Luciana Barroso have an ongoing dialogue on the subject with their daughters, Alexia, 19, Isabella, 11, Gia, 9, and Stella, 7. “They’re very clear that their bodies are their own and no one is allowed to touch them. We’re just trying to raise good kids,” he explained. “We’re not having specific conversations about harassment. It’s about trying to raise kids who are respectful of themselves and others.”  

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Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso together
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Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso together
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon walks the red carpet ahead of the 'Suburbicon' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon walk the red carpet ahead of the 'Suburbicon' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 30: Luciana Damon and Matt Damon walk the red carpet ahead of the 'Downsizing' screening and Opening Ceremony during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on August 30, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon at 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Gar�ns:Art of the In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Matt Damon and wife Luciana Damon arrive for the Premiere Of Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast' held at El Capitan Theatre on March 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Luciana Damon and Matt Damon arrive for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Luciana Damon (L) and actor Matt Damon arrive at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Luciana Damon and Matt Damon during the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Pier on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Luciana Damon and actor Matt Damon during the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Pier on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Actor Matt Damon (R) and wife Luciana Damon attend the premiere of 'The Great Wall' at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on February 15, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon attend MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Tom Petty at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: Luciana Bozan Barroso, Matt Damon arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Live By Night' at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 9, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Luciana Damon, Matt Damon arrives at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Luciana Damon, actor Matt Damon, actress Sienna Miller, and actor Ben Affleck attend Amazon Studios Golden Globes Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Producer Matt Damon and wife Luciana Damon attend the premiere of 'Manchester by the Sea' at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 18: Luciana Damon (L) and actor Matt Damon attend the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Jason Bourne' at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on July 18, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 12: Actor Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Damon Damon attend the 'Jason Bourne' Paris Premiere at Cinema Pathe Beaugrenelle on July 12, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 11: Matt Damon & Luciana Damon, Jason Bourne at the European premiere of 'Jason Bourne' at Odeon Leicester Square on July 11, 2016 in London, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Brett Cove / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Brett Cove / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Matt Damon and Luciana Damon arrive to the Vanity Fair Party following the 88th Academy Awards at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills Sunday evening, February 28, 2016. (Photo by Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Luciana Damon (L) and actor Matt Damon arrive at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
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