Casey Affleck ‘scared’ to discuss MeToo movement after sexual harassment allegations

‘It is very, very hard to talk about, and it scares me,’ says actor

Clémence Michallon
New York
Tuesday 06 August 2019 19:45 BST
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Casey Affleck addresses a press conference for the film 'Light of My Life' on 8 February, 2019 in Berlin.
Casey Affleck addresses a press conference for the film 'Light of My Life' on 8 February, 2019 in Berlin. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Casey Affleck says he is scared of discussing the Me Too movement after accusations of sexual harassment were made against him.

The actor and director spoke with Dax Shepard on Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. The two discussed allegations made against Casey by two women who worked on his 2010 mockumentary I’m Still Here.

Both civil lawsuits were settled that year, but the accusations resurfaced following the 2016 release of Manchester By the Sea, after which Casey embarked on a bid for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Affleck told Shepard that he decided to remain “quiet” as the Me Too movement gained momentum, because he didn’t want to appear as though he opposed its values.

“It is very, very hard to talk about, and it scares me,” he said.

He added: “The way that I’m thought of sometimes by certain people recently has just been so antithetical to who I really am that it’s 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 just be quiet so that I didn’t seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion.”

Affleck said his position was “a tough spot to be in”, “especially if you really do appreciate and want to be a support of the side that seems angriest, and the anger is being directed at you”.

He insisted that the values of Me Too are “at the heart of [his] being” and that he cannot imagine that anyone would not be supportive of the movement.

In 2018, Affleck told the Associated Press that he had gone “from a place of being defensive” to ”one of a more mature point of view, trying to find my own culpability”.

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“The cast was the crew and the crew was kind of the cast and it was an unprofessional environment and, you know, the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that and that was a mistake,” he said of the conditions in which I’m Still Here was made.

“And I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behaviour from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. And I regret a lot of that. 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.”

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