Casey Affleck was awarded Best Actor at the 2017 Oscars – a decision which sparked outrage on social media, with many accusing Academy voters of overlooking sexual harassment allegations from the actor’s past.
Brie Larson, who was presenting the award, seemingly made her feelings clear on Affleck’s win; after handing him his statuette, she stood to the side of the stage and refused to award his acceptance speech.
And her silent protest did not go unnoticed by her fans.
Larson has now confirmed that her reaction was intentional.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, she explained: “I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself.
“I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic.”
Larson famously portrayed a sexual assault survivor in Room (a performance which, famously, earned her the Oscar for Best Actress in 2016).
The 27-year-old has also worked with victims of abuse – and, at the 2016 Academy Awards, she was seen hugging every rape survivor that joined in with Lady Gaga’s performance of ‘Til It Happens To You (a song from The Hunting Ground, a documentary which exposed rape crimes on college campuses.)
Larson also addressed misogynist attitudes towards rape and victim-blaming in the latest issue of The Edit.
In the cover story, Larson interviews Jane Fonda, who reveals she was raped and sexually abused during childhood.
“I’ve been raped, I’ve been sexually abused as a child and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault – that I didn’t do or say the right thing,” said Fonda.
The women’s rights activist continued: “I know young girls who’ve been raped and didn’t even know it was rape. They think, ‘It must have been because I said no the wrong way’.
“One of the great things the women’s movement has done is to make us realise that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated and it’s not right.”
Larson responded: “Having played two characters who were sexually abused, I've done a lot of work with victims of sexual abuse.
“We can't take any steps backward in allowing people to think abuse is their fault. It's the people-pleaser disease.”
Larson added that, despite seeing a backlash on social media, she will always continue to speak out on behalf of rape and sexual assault survivors – and would always put her feminist beliefs before her career as an actor.
“I’d put it all on the line and be an activist for the rest of my life because it doesn’t feel right to me to be quiet,” said Larson.
Images: Rex Pictures