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Understanding why Matt Damon was cut from the Ocean’s 8 movie

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Kayleigh Dray
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Why was Matt Damon cut from ocean's 8?

Matt Damon’s cameo has been cut from the Ocean’s 8 movie – but it has nothing to do with his controversial comments on the #MeToo movement.

Over the past few months, Matt Damon has been widely criticised for his controversial comments on sexual misconduct as women have formed the #MeToo movement and Hollywood’s Time’s Up initiative.

Insisting that we live in a “culture of outrage”, he told ABC News: “I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories … [but] I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behaviour, right?

“There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” he added. “Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

His comments incited a backlash on social media, with a number of high-profile celebrities – including Rose McGowan, Debra Messing, Minnie Driver and Alyssa Milano – slamming him on social media. As such, Damon was forced to issue an apology.

“I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” he said.

“I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say, so for that, I am really sorry. [With] Time’s Up, a lot of those women are my dear friends and I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change…but I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while,” Damon concluded.

Many believed that Damon’s comments had directly led to the cutting of his cameo in the new Ocean’s 8 movie.

However, Gary Ross, who directed the film, has since insisted that this is absolutely not the case.

“[Picking the cameos] is an eclectic process of: how does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding?” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

“This more than any movie I’ve done had a really copious editorial process where you play with stuff, you find stuff. I’ve never shot anything after I’ve wrapped on any other movie before, but in a heist movie and an ensemble movie, you’re still working on the play. And we did a bunch of that, and so that was satisfying as well.”

Addressing Damon directly, Ross added: “There were a lot of people who were gracious to us that just for editorial and storytelling reasons didn’t make it in and some who did.

“If you know, we ended up shooting probably another 10 days afterwards, so there’s a lot of material and a lot of shaping. But it really just comes to storytelling.”

Ocean’s 8 is out in UK cinemas on 18 June.

Image: Warner Bros

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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