Matt Damon on Time's Up: 'I Should Close My Mouth For a While'

Matt Damon is now a proponent of the Epictetus philosophy that we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The actor-producer-writer came under heavy criticism for his remarks in the early goings of the #MeToo as well as #TimesUp movement, but appeared on Tuesday's episode of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford and told the hostess that he has learned from his mistakes.

"I really wish I'd listened a lot more before I weighed in on this," Damon said.

"I think ultimately what it is for me is I don't want to further anybody's pain with anything I do or say, so for that, I'm really sorry," he added. "[With] Time's Up, a lot of those women are my dear friends, and I love them and respect them and support what they're doing and want to be a part of that change and want to go along for the ride, but I should get in the backseat and close my mouth for a while."

Damon was first introduced to this discussion due to his relationship with Harvey Weinstein — who helped produce many of Damon's films — as well as the relationship with oft-accused actor Casey Affleck, the brother of Damon's writing partner and friend, Ben Affleck.

His comments were initially made to ABC News' Peter Travers about what Damon referred to as a "spectrum" of behavior.

"I do believe that there's a spectrum of behavior," he said. "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 behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right."

The immediate response to his comments came from former Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver giving him a pointed, and negative reaction. The bad press continued with vocal leader of the women's empowerment movement, Alyssa Milano, penning an open-letter to him.

Damon doubled-down on his comments in advance of his latest film, Downsizing.

"We're in this watershed moment, and it's great, but I think one thing that's not being talked about is there are a whole s—load of guys — the preponderance of men I've worked with — who don't do this kind of thing and whose lives aren't going to be affected," Damon told Business Insider.

"I don't do that, and most of the people I know don't do that," he said.


His second round of comments lead to a petition for his removal from the forthcoming Oceans 8 reboot.

With his comments to Gifford, it would appear, at least, that Damon has heard his critics. He is likely to remain in the spotlight as many will look to see if his actions match his (new) words.