Casey Affleck addressed the years-old sexual-harassment allegations against him, which resurfaced in the months ahead of Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, where Affleck won the best-actor Oscar for his work in “Manchester by the Sea.”
In recent months, Affleck had been embroiled in controversy surrounding news that he had been sued by two women who worked on his 2010 indie mockumentary film, “I’m Still Here,” claiming the actor sexually harassed them.
Those allegations entered the spotlight once again on Sunday when presenter Brie Larson was celebrated by some viewers for not clapping for Affleck after giving him his Oscar.
In an interview with the Boston Globe after his win, Affleck made it clear that those involved in the lawsuits, including himself, are barred from commenting on them and that the public doesn’t know the full details of the cases, which were settled.
“I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent,” Affleck said, “and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else.
“There’s really nothing I can do about it, other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time,” Affleck added.
After Affleck was nominated for the Oscar in January, “Fresh Off the Boat” actress Constance Wu called out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that awards the Oscars, for favoring a “good acting performance” over “human integrity,” and for the message she believes Affleck’s nomination sent to men.
The allegations against Affleck took on a new life after critics wondered why Oscar hopeful Nate Parker, who wrote and directed 2016’s “Birth of a Nation,” was being vilified for a 1999 rape charge (Parker was acquitted), and Affleck seemed to be getting a pass from media and activists.
In an interview with Variety last October, Affleck addressed the sexual-harassment suits.
“People say whatever they want,” he said of the accusations. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond… I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be, because everybody has families and lives.”