Damon wasn't cut for reasons that you may think.
After Matt Damon made statements about the #MeToo movement that understandably got under people's skins, a petition began circulating to remove him from Ocean's 8. Removing him from the spinoff film that takes a female approach to the heist franchise made sense on the surface. On ABC News, Damon stated that he believed that rapists and child molesters were horrible, but continued on to say that all sexual abuse isn't equal. "You know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated," he stated while also defending some of the men that were accused of sexual harassment in Hollywood. "The Louis C.K. thing, I don’t know all the details. I don’t do deep dives on this, but I did see his statement, which kind of, which [was] arresting to me," he continued. "When he came out and said, 'I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.' And I just remember thinking, 'Well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that.'"
After catching a mountain of backlash for his comments, fans speculated that the petition to have him removed from Ocean's 8 worked, since his cameo was nowhere to be seen. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, director Gary Ross explains that wasn't the case at all. "[Picking the cameos] is an eclectic process of: how does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding," he began. "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."