Fox News’s Tucker Carlson defends Matt Damon’s comments on the ‘culture of outrage’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday came to the defense of actor Matt Damon, who has been under fire for his comments suggesting that sexual harassment should be viewed differently than sexual assault.

In an opening monologue on his Friday night show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Fox News host called the outrage expressed at Damon’s remarks “terrifying” and “corrupting,” adding “this is where reason dies.”

“There’s not a single sentiment in that entire paragraph that’s not defensible or that 90 percent of the American population would find over the top or outrageous,” Carlson said, referring to Damon’s comments. “It’s all within bounds, or it would have been last year.”


Damon faced scrutiny after he said on ABC News’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers” last week that sexual harassment, like “patting someone on the butt,” is different from rape, and that the two behaviors should not be conflated.

“Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated,” he said. 

“We live in this culture of outrage and injury,” Damon added. “You know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’ ”

Carlson, who often criticizes celebrities with political opinions, said Damon is being maligned unfairly.

“Because a handful of Twitter users don’t like it, the rest of us have to pretend that Matt Damon is somehow guilty of something awful,” Carlson said on his show. “And if we don’t pretend, we may ourselves be seen as collaborators in whatever crimes he supposedly committed and forced to share his punishment.”

On Twitter, members of the #MeToo movement of people speaking out against sexual harassment and assault reacted to Damon’s interview.

“We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long,” actress Alyssa Milano wrote in an open letter to Damon.

Damon’s comments also sparked the creation of an online petition calling for the actor to be removed from the upcoming film “Ocean’s 8,” saying his presence would “trivialize the serious nature” of sexual misconduct allegations.

The petition cites allegations that Damon sought to shut down a 2004 New York Times story detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and Fabrizio Lombardo, the former head of Miramax’s operations in Italy.

Tags Harvey Weinstein Matt Damon Tucker Carlson

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