Alyssa Milano slams Matt Damon's remark on sexual abuse

Alyssa Milano at the NHL 100 gala in Los Angeles in January.
Alyssa Milano at the NHL 100 gala in Los Angeles in January.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • American actress Alyssa Milano has hit back at actor Matt Damon's comments on sexual misconduct in Hollywood after a recently published interview, where he said there is a spectrum of behaviour that should not be conflated.

The 47-year-old who starred as Jason Bourne in the Bourne film series had made the comments in an interview with ABC News published on Thursday.

Addressing the sexual allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Damon told interviewer Peter Travers that he knew he would not want Weinstein married to anyone close to him.

Commenting on sexual misconduct in Hollywood, Damon said he thought it was "wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it's totally necessary".

But he added: "I do believe that there's a spectrum of behaviour, 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? Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right?"

He said the public was "so energised to kind of get retribution" and that "we live in this culture of outrage and injury" that needs to be corrected.

Milano, 44, responded angrily to Damon's comments in a series of tweets yesterday. She wrote: "Dear Matt Damon, it's the micro that makes the macro. We are in a 'culture of outrage' because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous."

She added that she has "been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak".

"They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalised, accepted - even welcomed - misogyny," she wrote. "We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal."

Milano went on to compare it with different stages of cancer, some of which she said are "more treatable than others, but it's still cancer".

Damon's remarks also drew a response from former co-star, 47-year-old actress Minnie Driver, who said on Twitter: "Gosh it's so *interesting 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 (*profoundly unsurprising)."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 17, 2017, with the headline 'Alyssa Milano slams Matt Damon's remark on sexual abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe