Casey Affleck apologizes over sexual misconduct allegations: "I behaved in a way that was really unprofessional"
Casey Affleck is finally addressing past harassment allegations against him amid the #MeToo and Time's Up movements while promoting his new movie.
Casey Affleck is finally addressing past harassment allegations against him amid the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, with his new movie coming out this fall.
In an interview with The Associated Press, 'The Old Man & The Gun,' actor reflected on the Oscars, the film, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and past harassment allegations against him in light of #MeToo, apologizing for allowing an unprofessional atmosphere on set which led to two civil lawsuits from women he worked with that were later settled.
Casey Affleck apologized for his “unprofessional” actions following sexual harassment allegations lobbed against him in 2010. Affleck admitted to contributing to an unprofessional environment on the set of “I’m Still Here,” which was shot in 2008 and 2009.
“I tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. And I regret a lot of that,” Affleck, who directed, produced, and co-wrote the film stated. “I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss. I don’t even know if I thought of myself as the boss. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”
He also reflected on the accusations made on the film’s set where two women involved in the production filed two sexual harassment suits against Affleck eight years ago. The controversy surrounding the suits, settled in 2010, resurfaced during his Oscar campaign for “Manchester by the Sea” in 2016.
“First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret,” he said. “I 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 didn’t know how to handle it.”
“And I didn’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 they’ve respected me and my privacy. And that’s that,” he continued.
Casey Affleck is currently promoting his upcoming film 'The Old Man & the Gun,' directed by David Lowery and co-starring Robert Redford. While addressing his past, he also added that he’s learned from the cultural conversation over the past couple of years. “I 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.”
Affleck even addressed his decision to step back from presenting the best actress Oscar this year, despite his best actor win in 2017 for “Manchester by the Sea.”
“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment,” he said about breaking Academy Award tradition. “And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.”
Now running his own production company, Sea Change Media, with Whitaker Lader, Affleck added that Lader has helped him create a safe work environment. “She’s been way ahead of the curve on all these issues,” he said.
“But I think bigger picture, 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,” he added. “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.'”
He also said he’s learned to “keep my mouth shut.”