Matt Damon only has a small cameo in the upcoming Ocean’s 8, but a petition circulating online has almost 20,000 signatures calling for the actor be removed from the film entirely.
Ocean’s 8 is an all-female reboot of the original that is meant to be empowering for women. (Watch the trailer here, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.) The petition thinks Damon’s inclusion would have the opposite effect, citing the actor’s decision to downplay friend and mentor Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct as well as Damon’s recent comments about sexual harassment in Hollywood.
The petition also takes inspiration from the recent film All the Money in the World, for which director Ridley Scott rushed to replace Kevin Spacey in his role as J. Paul Getty after allegations of Spacey’s sexual impropriety surfaced.
During an interview with ABC News last week, Damon implied he thought some actors in Hollywood were being unfairly treated when it came to sexual harassment claims. There’s a “difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” he said. The actor also said he will continue to work with people who have been accused of sexual harassment on a “case-by-case” basis.
That response was insufficient for some people. Petition creators think that including Damon in Ocean’s 8 would “trivialize the serious nature of the charges against abusers like Weinstein,” it would also send a message about the lack of accountability in the workplace when women do speak out. Just like they want the behavior cut out of Hollywood, petition creators also want Damon cut out of the movie.