Matt Damon’s planned appearance in Ocean’s 8 is in danger of getting cut after an online petition was launched for it to be removed due to his affiliations to veteran producer and sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein.
The first trailer for the soft reboot of the Ocean‘s franchise has already been released alongside some new information about the anticipated film. Boasting an ensemble cast consisting of prolific actresses such as 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 and Awkwafina as Constance, the project is directed by The Hunger Games‘ helmer Gary Ross. Not much is known regarding its narrative, but given its connection to the first three films in the series, the appearance of Damon’s Linus Caldwell makes sense to establish continuity. However, not everyone is happy about the actor’s inclusion on what is supposed-to-be an all-female empowering movie considering his connections to Weinstein, as well as his inconsiderate comments regarding the reveal of rampant sexual abuse in Hollywood.
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Spearheaded on The Petition Site by a user named Rebecca G., the post explains the reason for the campaign: Damon’s supposedly being an enabler to Weinstein’s long history of sexual predation and even trying to kill a 2004 story that would have outed the producer 13 years ago. She also included the actor’s recent comments about being open to working with industry people who have been accused of improper behavior on a “case-by-case basis.” The campaign already has over 22,000 signatures by the time this is being written and continues to grow as it attracts more interest.
“Damon’s inclusion would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein — a show massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out. It would also send a terrible message about the inevitability of — and lack of accountability for — sexual harassment in the workplace that four in ten American women experience.
I’m calling on Oceans 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to toss Damon’s Oceans 8 cameo where it belongs: on the cutting room floor. Will you join me?”
With the digital age upon us, fans are given more power to express their opinion online. This could be a double-edged sword depending on how people use their limitless power behind their monitors. Generally, this is a good thing, especially when it comes sensitive matters where everyone is basically involved like fight against sexual abuse and drive for a safe workplace for everybody. However, it also has its disadvantages. Just several days ago, out of a fan’s dislike of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he created a public petition urging Lucasfilm to remove the film from the franchise’s official canon. While he did get support from those who share the same sentiments, he also received backlash causing him to rethink his actions.
So far, no statement regarding the petition yet from Clooney and Soderbergh. Chances are, they’ll be mum about it granted that Damon is a known good friend to both of them and was an integral part of the Ocean‘s franchise. Shall they choose this route, it will be interesting to see how supporters of the campaign who feel so passionate about the cause will do. Judging on other online appeals, unless there is a consistent conversation about it, it is easy for big studios to remain silent and hope that the attention will eventually die down. Warner Bros., for instance, has yet to address the fan urges for the release of Zack Snyder-cut of Justice League.
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Source: The Petition Site