Matt Damon is taking a moment to just listen.
The 47-year-old actor appeared on the Today show on Tuesday, when host Kathie Lee Gifford brought up the headlines Damon made last month due to his controversial comments about sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
"I really wished I listened a lot more before I weighed in on this," Damon acknowledged.
When Gifford commented that Damon was a good listener, the Oscar winner still didn't let himself off the hook.
"No, well, not in this case," he stressed. "Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don't want to further anybody's pain with anything that I do or say. So for that, I am really sorry.”
Talking specifically about the Time's Up movement, Damon explained how the initiative is personal to him.
“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 want to go along for the ride, but I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while," he said.
Damon's comments are a far cry from his interview with ABC News' Peter Travers in December, when he didn't hold back while giving his opinions on several sexual harassment and assault scandals, including allegations against Louie C.K., Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. Damon said that he believed that "there's a spectrum of behavior... [and] 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?”
“All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum," he continued. "And on this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen. OK? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”
Alyssa Milano and Minnie Driver later took to Twitter to slam Damon for the comments.
"Dear Matt Damon, It’s the micro that makes the macro," Milano tweeted. "We are not outraged because someone grabbed our a**es in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long. ... There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But it’s still cancer."
Meanwhile, Driver -- who starred with Damon in the Weinstein-produced Good Will Hunting and briefly dated the actor -- wrote, "There are so many men I love who do NOT frame the differentiation between sexual misconduct assault and rape as an excuse or worse -- our problem. Such bollocks."
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