If you want a concise capturing of the Robespierre-vs.-Danton “terror” mentality out there, look no farther than Dee Lockett’s 12.14 Vulture piece about Matt Damon‘s apparent failure (in her view) to sufficiently condemn recently revealed episodes of sexual misconduct.
Damon totally condemns Harvey Weinstein and has no issue with Kevin Spacey being sent away, but he goes too easy, Lockett feels, on Louis C.K. and Al Franken. Damon also cuts Casey Affleck a break because they’re Boston friends from way back, and in that respect Lockett may have a point.
Lockett is essentially saying that Damon needs to be schooled and maybe bitch-slapped around because he hasn’t quite picked up the Rose McGowan flag.
But if you watch the video and read Damon’s actual quotes, he doesn’t sound immoral or ethically blinded. He sounds to me like a sane, honest and reasonable guy. Note: I’ve mashed some of Damon’s quotes together. Some aren’t posted in the sequence in which they were spoken.
Damon #1: “We’re in this watershed moment [about sexual misconduct], and I think it’s great…totally necessary. We’re so energized to get retribution, we live in this culture of outrage. [And right now] we’re in the bar fight stage of this thing, and that’s fine because that rage is deserved. But then what?”
Damon #2: “I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, and we’re gonna have to figure out…there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and being a rapist or a child molester. Both of these behaviors have to be eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated. We have to start delineating behavior because right now they’re all going into the same popcorn bucket together.”
Damon #3: “There’s crude, disgusting behavior and then there’s criminal behavior. Criminal behavior is prison, and then there’s kinda shameful and gross. I don’t imagine Louis C.K. — I’ve never met him but I’m a fan of his — is ever going to do those things again. The price that he’s paid at this point is so beyond anything…a guy that says ‘I did this, I did these things’….well, that’s a sign of somebody….well, we can work with that. None of us came here perfect…what’s the point of our being here except to improve?”
Damon #4: “If you admit to faults, your life is going to be ruined…but if you deny your faults, you can end up in the White House, you can be the President…that’s the message that’s 100% being sent right now. All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there’s also a continuum.”