WITH a new movie out this year, Casey Affleck is ready to address his absence from the Oscars and the sexual harassment allegations that resurfaced during his Best Actor campaign for Manchester By The Sea.
“First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret,” Affleck, 42, told the Associated Press.
“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.”
Affleck settled two civil actions from the set of his 2010 movie I’m Still Here. One producer accused Affleck of making “unwanted sexual advances,” while another accused him of going into her bed and touching her without consent while she was sleeping.
“Over the past couple of years, I’ve been listening a lot to this conversation, this public conversation, and learned a lot. 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,” he said.
“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. 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.”
Earlier this year, Affleck, who took home the Oscar for Best Actor in 2016, decided not to attend the 2017 show and break the tradition of the most recent male winner presenting the new Best Actress award.
“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment,” he said. “And having two incredible women present the Best Actress award felt like the right thing.”
Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster presented the Best Actress award to Frances McDormand.
Going forward, Affleck says that he and his female production company partner are making sure that their working environments are safe.
This article was originally published on the New York Post and is reproduced with permission.
Originally published as Affleck opens up about sexual harassment allegations