Actor Matt Damon, known for his numerous films and charitable organizations, faced criticisms last month when he argued that there is a “spectrum of behavior” underneath sexual misconduct issues. For the first time since he made the remark, Damon publicly addressed the comments, expressing regret in an appearance on "Today."

Damon addresses sexual misconduct issue

In an article from USA Today, the actor told host Kathie Lee Gifford that he wished he’d listened a lot more before weighing in on the subject, adding that he does not want to “further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say.”

In an interview with Peter Travers, he said that he found it “wonderful” that women are now speaking out against their perpetrators.

However, the issue began when he attempted to differentiate between sexual misconduct, assault, and rape, saying that while perpetrators of rape and child molestation deserve to go to jail, things like “patting someone on the butt,” are just “shameful and gross,” and that people have to start delineating the different behaviors.

High-profile stars react to Damon’s comment

Minnie Driver, who was Damon’s co-star in "Good Will Hunting," was among those who criticized his comments. The Los Angeles Times cited Driver, calling him out on framing the differentiation of the behaviors.

She also pointed out that men who are deaf to the issue of sexual misconduct are “systematically part of the problem.” There is no certainty yet as to what will happen now that the actor has apologized – and whether #MeToo champions like Driver and Alyssa Milano, who had been vocal about his initial comments, would accept his apology.

Growing list of men accused of sexual misconduct in Hollywood

NBC News noted that the public seems to have been emboldened by the accusations that surfaced involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and his public condemnation opened a dam of other accusations against celebrities.

The growing list of high-profile men named as perpetrators now included Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Matt Zimmerman, Louis C.K., Steven Seagal, Ed Westwick, Dustin Hoffman, and Ben Affleck, to name a few.

However, the list is not limited to Hollywood elite. NFL players, politicians, and business moguls have also been accused of sexual misconduct, in what is now known as the "Harvey Weinstein ripple effect." Whether or not the list will stop growing soon still remains to be seen -- but for now, women everywhere are more inclined to share their stories through the #MeToo movement.

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