After years of relative silence, Casey Affleck has his most frank discussion about the sexual harassment allegations that he faced in 2010.
Casey Affleck has finally opened up about the sexual harassment allegations made against him while he was directing and acting in 2010’s mockumentary I’m Still Here.
Speaking on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast Affleck firstly addressed why he has stayed largely silent about the allegations saying, “It is very, very hard to talk about, and it scares me, mostly because the values of the #MeToo movement are values that are at the heart of my being; just the way I was raised, they are baked into my own value system having been raised by a mother who didn’t let us watch Dukes Of Hazard when we were like eight years old because it was sexist.”
He continued: “The way I’m thought of, sometimes, by certain people recently has just been so antithetical to who I really am, that it’s just been frustrating. And not being able to talk about it has been hard because I really wanted to support all of that, but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet, so that I didn’t seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion.
“Mostly I’ve talked about it a little bit to honour, that like ‘OK this is someone else’s experience of this and it is not my experience, but I… you have to respect that someone else has an experience and take that to heart and allow for it to be as possible as your memory of that experience, you know?”
Affleck admits that the film, which supposedly documents Phoenix’s retirement from acting and subsequent attempts to relaunch his career as a hip-hop artist took place in an atmosphere where there, “Was a ton of partying because that was the content of this at-times-documentary, at-times-mockumentary, so we’re recording everything,” he said. “It was confusing for everybody, and it was deliberately so, and that’s my responsibility… so it was a big mess and it was not something that I would do again, I would be way smarter, more sensible, more sensitive to it being a workplace if I were to ever do this again.”
In court documents filed at the time producer Amanda White accused him of “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace” and director of photography Magdalena Górka alleged that “Casey had entered [her] bedroom while she was asleep and crawled into the bed”. Both lawsuits have since been settled out of court.
Affleck’s case has been widely discussed and criticised within the industry, most notably after his Oscar win in 2017, when Brie Larson refused to applaud his victory.
But the actor was keen to stress his support for the #MeToo initiative saying, “Who would not be supportive of the #MeToo movement? That’s an idea that’s even out there? That there are some people saying ‘We do not believe in equality. We think the workplace should be a dangerous place for certain people and not for others’. That’s preposterous.”
He continued to discuss how the problem is endemic in the industry and how it isn’t possible to make a distinction between different levels of abuse. “[It] isn’t about, oh well this isn’t so bad, and that’s really horrible. It’s that it’s systemic,” he said. “It is accepted culturally at it’s tamest manifestation of it and at it’s worst, and that it all needs to be turned on it’s head, eradicated, not allowed for.”
He also refuted co-host Monica Padman’s speculation that sometimes women don’t tell the truth, saying, “I wouldn’t say that it’s helpful to say that ‘well women lie’. Or to approach the argument from the point of who is lying. It actually doesn’t help.
“Are women paid 70 cents on the dollar? Are women constantly given a mountain of shit at work? Are men believed over women, and promoted over women? Are screenplays written with male leads, on and on and on? Yes, 100%. That’s really what is important and has to change, and I think is changing. Regardless of – and definitely regardless of how much I sit here and talk about it – all the talk and chatter, that shift is happening.”
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