A petition to remove Matt Damon from the cast of Oceans 8 has been filed on The Petition Site, amassing over 21,100 signatures at the time of publication. The petition cites Damon’s alleged support of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as the reason why fans are calling for Damon’s cameo to be canned.
Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault by more than 80 women in the film industry after a New York Times article laid bare his decades-long history of harassment, abuse and rape. Days after the release of the extensive New York Times article, Damon was accused of covering for Weinstein when, 13 years ago, another New York Times reporter attempted to write about Weinstein’s many abuses of power.
The creator of the petition, Rebecca G., claims that Damon “not only ignored but enabled” Weinstein’s abuses by trying to kill the 2004 story. Damon recently got into even more hot water when he told Business Insider earlier this month that the current narrative about sexual harassment in Hollywood should also include the stories of men who do no commit such crimes, and that he would work with people who had been accused of sex-based abuses of power on a “case-by-case basis.”
While the removal of Damon would be no small feat, and would likely call for either the actor’s scenes to be cut entirely or for him to be digitally removed, it’s not unheard of. Ridley Scott oversaw the removal of Kevin Spacey from All the Money in the World after the actor was accused of sexual harassment by several sources. Christopher Plummer went on to replace Spacey late in the game – Scott was able to swap Spacey out for Plummer in as little as 10 days. The film releases on Christmas.
Directed by Gary Ross, Ocean’s 8 is a soft reboot of the Ocean’s trilogy that saw massive success in the ‘00s. The film stars an all-woman cast of heisters this time around, with Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Cate Blanchett as Lou, Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger, Mindy Kaling as Amita, Sarah Paulson as Tammy, Rihanna as 9-Ball, Helena Bonham Carter as Rose, Awkwafina as Constance and Dakota Fanning in an undisclosed role. Damon will be included in a cameo role if the petition isn't successful. The film is scheduled to release on June 8, 2018.