Brie Larson refuses to applaud Casey Affleck's Best Actor win at Oscars

Affleck was accused of sexual harassment by two female colleagues in 2010

Maya Oppenheim
Tuesday 28 February 2017 11:43 GMT
Brie Larson refuses to applaud Casey Affleck's Oscar win

After Brie Larson gave Casey Affleck a frosty reception while presenting him with a Golden Globe, you might have thought the Oscars would choose someone different to present the accolade.

Nevertheless, they did not and unsurprisingly, history repeated itself. Larson, an outspoken advocate for sexual assault survivors, refused to clap and appeared visibly unimpressed and downcast as she presented Affleck, who has been the subject of sexual harassment allegations, with the Oscar statuette.

The 41-year-old actor, who took home the gong for Best Actor for his role in Manchester by the Sea, faced two sexual harassment allegations in 2010. Affleck, the younger brother of Hollywood megastar Ben, has faced fresh scrutiny over the historical sexual harassment allegations since he has moved into the limelight for his critically-acclaimed portrayal of a grief-stricken divorcee father.

While Affleck garnered a standing ovation for receiving the award, Larson, who won best actress for her role in Room in which she plays a rape survivor, appeared to offer the world a silent, noiseless protest.

However, unlike at the Golden Globes, Larson was forced to cordially but briefly hug Affleck, who was widely tipped to take home the award, as she handed over the gong.

Viewers immediately noticed Larson’s apparent unenthusiasm for Affleck and the saga prompted an onslaught of memes on Twitter.

“And Best Actress goes to Brie Larson for hugging Casey Affleck,” said Sasha James.

“My aesthetic: Brie Larson not clapping for literal trash hole Casey Affleck,” said Tyler Stubble.

Others drew attention to the irony of the fact while Larson hugged Affleck at this year’s Academy Awards, last year she individually hugged sexual assault survivors as they left the stage after standing alongside Lady Gaga while she performed “Till it happens to you”.

“Last year Brie Larson stood and hugged every sexual assault survivor who was on stage with Gaga and now she has to hug Casey Affleck,” said one.

Producer Amanda White and cinematographer Magdalena Gorka sued Affleck for $2m and $2.25m respectively over alleged offences during the filming of the mockumentary I'm Still Here which stars Joaquin Phoenix.

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In the original allegations, Ms White alleged that Affleck referred to women as "cows", groped her when she rejected his sexual advances and instructed a camera operator to flash his genitals at her on several occasions. Ms Gorka claimed she was confronted with a "near daily barrage of sexual comments, innuendo and unwelcome advances" from fellow crew members who were encouraged by Affleck.

Affleck has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations and settled both claims out of court in 2010. While actual details of the deal remain secret, Ms Gorka and Ms White’s complaints continue to be online on the public record.

Media commentators have argued Affleck has not been sufficiently scrutinised for the allegations due to the clout of his big Hollywood family name and his privilege as a wealthy white man.

The Oscar is by no means Affleck’s first gong of the awards season. He also took home the BAFTA, Golden Globe, Gotham, Critic’s Choice, and National Board of Review awards for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan's drama Manchester by the Sea.

A representative for Affleck or Larson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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