Casey Affleck Finally Addresses Harassment Allegations
“I contributed to an unprofessional environment…I regret a lot of it,” were the words Casey Affleck recently used in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. The American actor and director produced a film called “I’m Still Here” in 2010. Two women from the movie’s production crew filed civil lawsuits against him for alleged harassment. One of the women also sued for sexual harassment. Both of them described an uncomfortable atmosphere on the set of the unconventional mockumentary. According to The Irish Times, although the lawsuits were settled out of court, Affleck’s name became associated with a long list of men who have abused power in Hollywood.
While he addressed the lawsuits, he also didn’t speak publicly since the #MeToo and ‘Time’s up’ movements held 10 months ago. However, Casey Affleck finally addressed these allegations in the interview for his upcoming movie, “The Old Man and the Gun”:
“It was an unprofessional environment…the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that.”
He also added: “I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”
It seems like Casey Affleck genuinely regrets what he did. His words of sincere apology show that he’s a different man than he once used to be. Physical or even emotional harassment is a very crucial issue in today’s society, especially for women. It’s definitely something that must not be taken lightly. It’s a shame that it took Affleck this long to admit that. However, the fact that he was willing to speak out publicly and take accountability for something so controversial after so long speaks volumes about his character. Not only did he seem apologetic but he also voiced the embarrassment he felt as a result of what happened.
“I’ve been listening a lot to this public conversation and learned a lot. I’ve kind of moved from a place of being defensive to one of…a more mature point of view trying to find my own culpability. And once I did that, I discovered there was a lot to learn,” he said.
Of his decision to do an interview now, Affleck said: “If I’m not promoting a movie, I’m not going to do any press, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me.” Asked why he made the decision to step aside from presenting the Best Actress awards at the Oscars, Affleck said he “thought it was the right thing to do”.
Moreover, Casey Affleck also briefly touched upon the subject of women empowerment, equity and feminism. It’s great to see a man previously associated with harassment charges to step out and distinguish the right from the wrong. Not many people would have the courage to do that. His apology doesn’t make what he did okay, but at least he admits that. It’s empowering to hear him talk about the issues women regularly face in the industry, and the need to fix them.
“In this business, women have been underrepresented and underpaid and objectified and diminished and humiliated and belittled in a bazillion ways and just generally had a mountain of grief thrown at them forever,” said Affleck. “And no one was really making too much of a fuss about it, myself included, until a few women with the kind of courage and wisdom to stand up and say, ‘You know what? Enough is enough.”
“Those are the people who are kind of leading this conversation and should be leading the conversation. And I know just enough to know that in general I need to keep my mouth shut and listen and try to figure out what’s going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can,” he added.
Casey Affleck’s interview serves as a small reminder that we need more people to step up, take accountability for their mistakes and speak out about these issues. It’s the only way to change the stereotypical and discriminatory approach that’s taken towards women, and even men, today.