Matt Damon‘s barely in Ocean’s 8, but soon he might not be in it at all.
That’s because fans of the series are petitioning to have him axed following the actor’s recent controversial comments about the Weinstein scandal.
A petition already has 13 million signatures in favour of having Matt’s part in the new all-female heist spin-off, Ocean’s 8, cut from the finished film.
Damon had previously said that ‘one thing not being talked about’ was the men not committing sexual abuse, which threw a dark shade over his name.
The Care 2 petition was begun earlier though, in October, when it was reported Damon helped get a New York Times story about Weinstein axed, which he has since denied.
The actor made things worse on the promotional trial for new film Downsizing, when he made a series of inappropriate comments.
When questioned by journalists, instead of keeping his lips shut he clarified how there’s a difference between ‘patting someone on the bum and rape,’ and followed that admission by revealing he’d work with sex pests on a ‘case by case’ basis.
‘One thing that’s not being talked about,’ Damon told Business Insider, ‘is there are a whole shitload of guys… who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected’.
The Care 2 petition reads: ‘The all-female reboot of Ocean’s 8 was supposed to be an empowering film for women. The movie spotlights the talents of its tremendous female cast and showcases the savvy and prowess of its characters.
‘But that was before allegations that Matt Damon — who has a well-publicised cameo in Oceans 8 — not only ignored but enabled his friend Harvey Weinstein’s inappropriate behaviour by trying to squash a New York Times report in 2004 that detailed instances where Weinstein had used his position as a high-powered studio executive to harass and even assault women.
‘Damon also recently gave an interview where said he’d still work people who had been accused of sexual misconduct, on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. This behaviour is beyond enabling — it’s just gross. Matt Damon should not be in this movie.
‘Damon’s inclusion would trivialise the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein — a show massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out. It would also send a terrible message about the inevitability of — and lack of accountability for — sexual harassment in the workplace that four in ten American women experience,’ the petition surmised.
Damon played Linus Caldwell in the Ocean’s franchise.
Ocean’s 8 celebrates an all-female cast led by Sandra Bullock, which also stars Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina.
Ocean’s 8 is released in UK cinemas 8 June 2018.
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‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.