Actor calls former co-stars remarks about spectrum of behaviour in sexual misconduct Orwellian and questions defence of disgraced comedian Louis CK
The actor Minnie Driver has told the Guardian that men simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level and should not therefore attempt to differentiate or explain sexual misconduct against women.
Driver was discussing comments by Matt Damon, whom she once dated and with whom she starred in the Oscar-winning 1997 film Good Will Hunting. In an interview with ABC News this week, Damon said alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men involved a spectrum of behaviour.
Damon said there was a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation. Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldnt be conflated.
He added that society was in a watershed moment and said it was wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and its totally necessary. But he said: We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that were going to have to correct enough to kind of go, Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.
Gosh its so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about womens differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem.
Drivers response to Damon was shared widely on social media, alongside that of the actor Alyssa Milano, who said: There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But its still cancer.
On Saturday, Driver told the Guardian: I felt I desperately needed to say something. Ive realised 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 cant tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, its galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.
Drivers comments come more than two months into a radical national reappraisal of gender relations begun by accusations against Harvey Weinstein, an executive producer of Good Will Hunting who denies allegations including sexual assault and rape.
Thats the sign of somebody who well, we can work with that, Damon said, adding: I dont know Louis CK. Ive never met him. Im a fan of his, but I dont imagine hes going to do those things again. You know what I mean? I imagine the price that hes paid at this point is so beyond anything …
Driver said that as accusations, suspensions and firings first swept through Hollywood, she initially refrained from comment. She was now moved to expand her initial response to Damon.
I dont understand why Matt would defend Louis CK, she said. It seems to me that he thinks that because he didnt rape somebody so far as we know that what he did do wasnt as bad.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us