Ocean’s 8’s star-studded cast could potentially be down one A-lister. Fox News reports that an online petition with more than 23,000 signatures at the time of this posting is calling for Matt Damon’s cameo in the all-female reboot to be cut. The reason why? Damon’s divisive comments following bombshell allegations of men sexually harassing women in Hollywood. The petition cites a recent ABC News interview where Damon describes the allegations as a "spectrum of behavior" and called out the "difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation." (Even his ex Minnie Driver felt the need to slap Damon on the wrist for these comments.) The petition also accused Damon of trying to “squash” the reporting that first brought accusations against mogul Harvey Weinstein to light.
“Damon's inclusion would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein," showing "massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out,” it read. Starring powerhouses like Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Rihanna, Ocean’s 8 is meant to be the epitome of female empowerment, which is why many see his inclusion as disruptive. “Love Matt Damon but what he said is unacceptable. This is for all the women out there,” one petition commenter wrote.” This isn’t the first time Damon has been called out for putting his foot in his mouth. In 2015, the Oscar-winner apologized after he famously interrupted Effie Brown’s critique of diversity in Hollywood during a Project Greenlight premiere. Twitter erupted at the snafu, dubbing his attempt to dominate the narrative as #Damonsplaining, a hashtag he can’t seem to shake. (Read more Matt Damon stories.)