Matt Damon has faced a lot of backlash this week, and after the new trailer for Ocean's 8 dropped on Tuesday morning, that backlash got even worse. In the midst of excitement for the all-women ensemble cast in the series' latest movie, people are pissed about Damon's Ocean's 8 cameo, especially after his recent comments about the deluge of sexual assault accusations in Hollywood.
To be fair, the trailer itself is full girl power. With Sandra Bullock at the helm as Debbie Ocean, who's just been released from prison on parole and is assembling her team of thieves — which includes actors like Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, and Rihanna — it seems like this is going to be a box office slam dunk. People are excited about the star-studded movie, but a little less excited about one of the cast members set to appear.
Since Ocean's 8 has been so highly anticipated since the cast was officially announced last year, finally seeing the first full-length trailer was a true celebration... until fans remembered that Damon will be reprising his role as Linus from the original Ocean's movies. Even though this wasn't exactly a secret, the trailer being released is stirring up conversation again.
In February, Damon confirmed his role in Ocean's 8 during an interview with Collider, when he addressed the rumors that he'd be returning head on. According to the actor himself, he's just there for exposition — not any kind of huge part in the movie. He said:
"It’s just quick, it’s a little cameo . . . I think I’m there for exposition. But look, we’re all about girl power. We want to see what these ladies do. . . Gary Ross is directing it, who he wrote it and the movie’s got some of my favorite actresses in it, so it should be a lot of fun.”
But even knowing that his role is a small one, people have taken to Twitter to air their grievances about Damon being part of the movie at all.
Some people think the plot of the movie should be taking out Damon, rather than trying to rob the Met Gala — or, you know, that Damon needs to be removed from the film at any cost.
Some are just straight up upset that Damon had to be in the movie at all:
And one person has said she refuses to see it because of his role.
And then, this interesting point — it might actually be the best film of Damon's career, due to the lack of him actually being in it.
Some potential viewers are even so upset that Damon is in the movie that they've started a petition to remove him from it.
Earlier this week, Damon came under fire when he gave a lengthy comment on the sexual assault claims in Hollywood during in an interview, which many people found unnecessary. Then, on Monday, while talking to Business Insider, Damon felt the need to point out that not all men, including him, are predators, which shouldn't be a topic of discussion at a time when so many women are finally finding the courage to voice their allegations of assault. He said:
"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 sh*tload 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. If I have to sign a sexual-harassment thing, I don't care, I'll sign it. I would have signed it before. I don't do that, and most of the people I know don't do that."
(Bustle reached out to a rep for Damon for additional comment on both of these statements, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.)
Because of those comments, it's understandable that people are upset he has a part in a movie that is focused on so many strong female characters — a true rarity in Hollywood. But it seems Damon's cameo is small; at its core, Ocean's 8 is still going to be an incredible, female-driven film.
It's important to show support for movies like Ocean's 8 to show that there's a demand for movies like this one so that they'll continue to get made. And after seeing the cast in action in the trailer for the first time, it seems like it will be worth the wait for its summer 2018 release.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.