Jodi Guglielmi
December 22, 2017 10:11 AM

Matt Damon’s recent controversial comments on Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal has prompted a petition for his cameo to be removed from Ocean’s 8.

At the time of publication, the online petition had nearly 18,500 signatures calling for his removal.

Citing Damon’s alleged involvement in an attempt to kill a 2004 story about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct, the petition claims the actor’s inclusion in Ocean’s 8 would “trivialize the serious nature” of the allegations.

“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,” read the petition.

Amid the mounting revelations of sexual harassment or abuse against Weinstein, The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman previously claimed Damon and Russell Crowe meddled in a 2004 story she was writing for the New York Times about behavior by Weinstein and the the-head of Miramax Italy, Fabrizio Lombardo. Waxman claimed Damon and Crowe called her “directly” to vouch for Lombardo. Her story was ultimately killed by the NYT.

Angela Weiss/Getty

Damon confirmed the call with Waxman to Deadline, but said Weinstein only told him that Waxman was writing a negative story about Lombardo and asked him to vouch for Lombardo professionally.

The all-female reboot, starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway Mindy Kaling and more, is “supposed to be an empowering film for women,” the petition says.

Damon “not only ignored but enabled his friend Harvey Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior,” the petition continues.

The actor has received criticism for his recent comments on the #MeToo movement. Late last week, Damon came under fire for suggesting that claims of sexual harassment should be viewed differently from allegations of sexual assault in an interview with ABC News’ “Popcorn with Peter Travers.

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

The petition calls on Ocean’s 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to leave Damon’s cameo “on the cutting room floor.”

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