After taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor, many were outraged that the academy would recognize Manchester By the Sea star Casey Affleck despite his past sexual harassment allegations. Unbeknownst to most, this is not a rarity in Hollywood. Taught from a young age that “boys will be boys” many men have been awarded by the academy despite allegations (and confessions) of rape or sexual assault. Not only are we telling these men that their actions were okay but we continue silence their victims through the appraisal of their abusers.
In 2010, Affleck was accused by two women who had worked with him on the film “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” of making unwanted sexual advances. Producer Amanda White claims that Affleck used her bedroom to have sex with others, but sent sent her “abusive” text messages when she wouldn’t sleep with him herself. He also ordered a crew member to expose himself to her.
Cinematographer Magdalena Gorka accused Affleck of getting into her bed and touching her while she was asleep. Not only did he verbally disparage her but threatened to neither pay nor credit her after she quit the film.
While Affleck initially denied all allegations, he eventually settled both cases out of court for an undisclosed amount in 2010.
“I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else,” Affleck told the Boston Globe.
“There’s really nothing I can do about it,” he continued. “Other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”
Other men who have recently been recognized by the academy despite assault allegations include Roman Polanski, director of The Pianist (accused of raping of a 13-year-old girl) and Woody Allen, director of Blue Jasmine (accused of sexual abusing his daughter).