Damon then brought up Harvey Weinstein, whom multiple women have accused of sexual assault and rape; the producer's lawyers strongly deny every allegation of nonconsensual sex.
("Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct," Weinstein's attorneys recently told E! News in a statement. "There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.")
Regarding the dozens of allegations made against Weinstein, Damon said, "There are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. There's no witnesses. There's no pictures. There's no braggadocio. So, [C.K., Franken and Weinstein] don't belong in the same category."
As for Weinstein, he said, "A lot of people said, 'Well, Harvey—everybody knew.' As you were saying, that's not true. Everybody knew what kind of guy he was in the sense that if you took a meeting with him, you knew he was tough and he was a bully, and that was his reputation. And he enjoyed that reputation, because he was making the best movies out there." Regarding rape claims, he said, "Nobody who made movies for him knew...Any human being would've put a stop to that, no matter who he was. They would've said absolutely no. You know what I mean?"
Though he's worked with Weinstein several times, Damon said he tried to keep his distance. "I knew I wouldn't want him married to anyone close to me. But that was the extent of what we knew, you know? So, that wasn't a surprise to anybody," he said. "When you hear 'Harvey this, Harvey that'—I mean, look at the guy! Of course he's a womanizer. I don't hang out with him."
As more people share their stories of sexual assault and harassment, Damon said, "I think the day of the confidentiality agreements is over. I think it's just completely over. Ten years ago, you made a claim against me and I had a big movie coming out, OK? I have $100 million, or I have a movie that is personally important to me coming out, and close to the release of that film, you say, 'Matt Damon grabbed my butt and stuck his tongue down my throat.' We would then go to mediation and organize a settlement. I'd go, 'I don't want this out there. Peter's going to go out and talk to the press and run his mouth, and it's going to be overshadowing the opening of this movie. How much money do you want?' The lawyers would get together, and they do this cost-benefit analysis, and they'd go, 'Oh, this is what it's worth.' And I look at the number and go, 'OK, I'll pay it, but you can never talk about this again. You're f--king lying about this, but never talk about this again.'" Because of social media, everything is different. "The moment a claim is made—if you make that same claim today to me—I would be scorched earth. I'd go, 'I don't care if it costs $10 million to fight this in court with you for 10 years; you are not taking my name from me. You are not taking my name and my reputation from me. I've worked too hard for it. And I earned it. You can't just blow me up like that.' Once a claim is made, there will no longer be settlements. That's my prediction, just based on what I've seen."