Fox News host Tucker Carlson came out in defense of Matt Damon on Friday night for suggesting the actions of disgraced comedian Louis C.K. were less bad than other recent cases of sexual misconduct.
During an interview with ABC News on Dec. 14, Damon downplayed the comedian “pleasuring himself” in front of women by saying, “I don’t know Louis C.K, I’ve never met him. I’m a fan of him, but I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again. You know what I mean? I image the price that he has paid at this point is so beyond … I just think we have to start delineating with what these behaviors are.”
“Ask yourself, and be honest, how much of that do you actually disagree with?” he asked on Friday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “How much is hateful or immoral or otherwise beyond the pale? None of it? Exactly.
“There’s not a single sentiment in that entire paragraph that’s not defensible or that 90 percent of the American population would find over the top or outrageous. It’s all within bounds, or it would have been last year.”
The Fox host went on to say that because of Twitter users who don’t like it, “the rest of us have to pretend that Matt Damon is somehow guilty of something awful. And if we don’t pretend, we may ourselves be seen as collaborators of whatever crimes he supposedly committed and forced to share his punishment. It’s terrifying and it’s corrupting. This is how reason dies.”
He pointed to actress Rose McGowan as an example of the fervor that has developed in large part because of her social media following.
“Actress Rose McGowan ordered the media to stop using the word ‘alleged’ when describing claims of sexual misconduct. In other words, everyone accused is guilty,” Carlson added. “If you deny that, you’re guilty, too. Weirdly, almost nobody in the media pushed back against Rose McGowan’s demand. Before long, they may have to obey here. She has almost a million twitter followers. She’s calling the shots.”
The remarks sparked a social media firestorm which continues to this day