Unless you’ve been off the entire internet for the past few days, you have heard all about the scandal involving famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his sexual assault towards women. Several actresses from Angelina Jolie to Gwyneth Paltrow and models Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and Cara Delevigne have shared their experiences with Weinstein and how they were sexually harassed by him. Other celebrities having been showing their support for the victims and have condemned the producers actions. The media has especially called on men to show their support and speak up against sexual harassment.
Among the men who have used their platform to speak out, Ben Affleck took to twitter to denounce Weinstein’s actions. He spoke on how he has worked with him before and how “saddened and angry,” he was over the whole scandal.
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 10, 2017
While this was encouraging to see a big time actor show his support for the women affected, it can also be seen extremely hypocritical. Twitter user, Shanice Brim, called him out for his past sexual harassment. Back in 2003, Affleck was on MTV, doing an appearance on TRL. While on the show, host Hilarie Burton says that Affleck groped her. As he was reaching one arm around to hug her, he intentionally grabbed her breast as well. Brim says that, “Everyone forgot thought,” in regards to the incident.
Hilarie Burton responded to Brim with a simple, “I didn’t forget.” She was also quick to point out that she was just a kid when the incident occurred.
“I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry,” Burton later tweeted, along with a TRL video compilation of uncensored moments, which featured Affleck asking Burton if she was 19, and another interview where Burton tells the camera her left breast was grabbed.
I didn't forget.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 10, 2017
Girls. I'm so impressed with you brave ones. I had to laugh back then so I wouldn't cry. Sending love.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 11, 2017
Affleck again took to Twitter, just hours after his first statement, apologizing to Burton and admits he acted inappropriately toward her.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
While his intentions were good, it does seem ridiculous that it took almost 15 years for him to apologize for his actions. Burton was obviously very uncomfortable by it and spoke about it later interviews. He could have easily apologized then. Yet, instead he chose to have it fade away, hoping it wouldn’t be brought to the surface. It wasn’t until he had no way to ignore that he would apologize, which makes it seem insincere.
What makes this especially unsettling is the fact that just hours prior, he talked about how Weinstein abused his position of power and how he is asking himself, “What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others.” Yet the MTV incident mirrors the exact actions of what Weinstein did to model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
She was also groped against her consent. So, this makes Affleck’s words very hypocritical.How can you denounce one’s actions when you’ve done the exact same thing and also did not apologize?
Well, here’s a couple of things think Affleck can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again since he’s offering to help. He can fully apologize to Hilarie Burton by condemning his own actions and use this incident to encourage all men not to ever touch anyone with sexual intentions without their consent. He is just as much in a position of power as Harvey Weinstein, he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.