He was accused of sexual assault on the set of his 2010 film ‘I’m Not Here’ and later settled two civil lawsuits regarding the claims, but the rise of the #MeToo movement meant that Casey Affleck controversially bowed out of a presenting role at the Oscars earlier this year.
Having won ‘Best Actor’ for ‘Manchester By the Sea‘ in 2017, tradition dictated that Affleck should have presented the Best Actress award at this year’s ceremony – but released a statement a month ahead of it, stating that he would not be attending.
Now, the actor/director has given his first big interview to AP regarding the situation, saying: “I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment. And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.â€ť
He added that he ‘regretted’ becoming involved in the aforementioned civil lawsuits, saying â€śI wish I had found a way to resolve things in a different way. I hate that. I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing and I didnâ€™t know how to handle it and I didnâ€™t agree with everything, the way I was being described, and the things that were said about me, but I wanted to try to make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time. And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as theyâ€™ve respected me and my privacy.â€ť
He admitted that he “contributed to that unprofessional environment” on the set of ‘I’m Not There’, and “Tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadnâ€™t. And I regret a lot of that.”
With regards to the #MeToo movement, he said: “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 whatâ€™s going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can.
“And we do that at our production company and I try to do it at home, and if Iâ€™m ever called upon by anyone to help in any way and contribute, Iâ€™d be more than happy to.â€ť
Read the full interview here.