An online petition with more than 21,000 signatures demands that Damon be removed from the female-fronted spinoff for his comments regarding sexual assault and harassment.
“Damon’s inclusion would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein — [and] show massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out,” the petition page says.
“There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Damon said in a new interview with ABC News. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
In the same interview, Damon defended Louis C.K., who admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent.
“When (C.K.) came out and said, ‘I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.’ And I just remember thinking, well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that,'” Damon said.
In another interview with Business Insider, Damon said he would work with people who had been accused of misconduct on a “case-by-case basis.”
The petition called his comment “beyond enabling” and “just gross.”
Ocean’s 8, which stars Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, and Cate Blanchett, is set to come out in June.