Minnie Driver isn't pulling any punches on "Good Will Hunting" co-star Matt Damon, whose comments on sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement Driver condemned on Sunday as perpetuating the sexual abuse problem in the industry.
"God God, seriously?" tweeted Driver in response to Damon's much-critiqued interview with ABC News' Peter Travers, in which Damon tried to distinguish between different degrees of offense on the sexual misconduct "spectrum," from the truly reprehensible actions of serial predators to those he could "work with."
"I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right? 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?" said Damon. "Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right? ... [W]e live in this culture of outrage and injury, and, you know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, 'Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.' You know what I mean?"
Those who hold such a view, said Driver, are "systemically part of the problem."
"Gosh it’s so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about women’s differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem," she said.
Speaking with The Guardian after her initial response to Damon, Driver explained that she felt compelled to speak out after hearing Damon's interview.
"I felt I desperately needed to say something," she told The Guardian. "I've realized that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off in their ability to understand. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level. I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it's galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not."
The actress specifically chided Damon for defending admitted sexual harasser comedian Louis C.K.
"I don't understand why Matt would defend Louis C.K. It seems to me that he thinks that because he didn’t rape somebody – so far as we know – that what he did do wasn't as bad. That’s a problem," she said. "If good men like Matt Damon are thinking like that then we're in a lot of f***ing trouble. We need good intelligent men to say this is all bad across the board, condemn it all and start again."
Driver even pulled out an Orwell reference in her condemnation of her former co-star.
"I felt that what Matt Damon was saying was an Orwellian idea, we are all equal except that some us are more equal than others. Put abuse in there … that all abuse is equal but some is worse," she said. "There is no hierarchy of abuse – that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for … you cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other. And it certainly can’t be prescribed by a man. The idea of tone deafness is the idea there [is] no equivalency. How about: it’s all f***ing wrong and it’s all bad, and until you start seeing it under one umbrella it’s not your job to compartmentalize or judge what is worse and what is not. Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once."
Driver added that every woman she knows has "experienced verbal abuse and sexual epithets their whole f***ing life," including herself , having been "manhandled" and had her career "threatened several times by men I wouldn’t sleep with."
Damon is apparently not interested in shutting up and listening just yet. He has since given another interview in which he discussed the #MeToo climate in Hollywood and lamented that people aren't focusing enough on all of the men who aren't sexual predators in the industry.
"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 sh**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.