Matt Damon slammed for saying the sexual assault scandal reveals a 'culture of outrage'

Matt Damon has been heavily criticised after suggesting that the sexual misconduct scandal in Hollywood reveals a "culture of outrage" that has gone too far.

The leading actor said no one is perfect and not all the men who have been accused should be painted with the same brush.

"We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that we're going to have to correct enough to kind of go, 'Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect'," he told Popcorn With Peter Travers, on ABC News.

He said it was "great" that women were sharing stories that had been hidden for so long and he believed the "rotten apples are getting weeded out".

But he said: "I do believe that there's a spectrum of behaviour and we're going to have to figure, you know, there's a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation.

"Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn't be conflated."

British actress Minnie Driver, 47, who once dated Damon and appeared alongside him in Good Will Hunting, was among a host of high-profile women to hit back at his remarks.

"God God, seriously?" she wrote on Twitter.

"Gosh it's so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about women's differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem."

Charmed actress Alyssa Milano, who helped kickstart the recent #MeToo campaign to highlight sexual abuse, also took issue with Damon's comments.

"We are in a culture of outrage because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous," she said.

"We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal ... We are outraged because we were silenced for so long."

Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Barroso at the Venice Film Festival. Credit: AP

Damon, who previously said he had no idea that Harvey Weinstein was a predator, said he knew he "wouldn’t want him married to anyone close to me".

"So when you hear Harvey this, Harvey that — I mean, look at the guy. Of course he’s a womanizer,” he added.

He also said that if a friend was accused of sexual misbehavior he would "know the real story" because he's "always talking to them".

His remarks were widely slammed by women - including high-profile figures such as Cher.

She said: "Maybe Matt needs this is terms he can better grasp:

"There’s a difference between Ben Affleck as Daredevil & Ben Affleck as Batman but it doesn’t mean both aren’t bad."