[UPDATE 3/1/2017]: Casey Affleck has finally responded to his sexual assault allegations.
“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. There’s really nothing I can do about it. 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.”
The court settlements (see below) prohibit either side from commenting one way or the other on the matter, so it’s unsurprising that Affleck neither denies nor accepts the allegations.
However, it’s his “nothing I can do about it” attitude that is really disturbing. Really, Casey, there’s nothing you can do about it? You can’t use your fame, money, and privilege as a white man to bring attention to issues of sexual assault or to start a charity for abuse survivors?
Let’s be clear: if Casey Affleck wanted to do something about it, he could. And regardless if the allegations are true or false, he should do something about it.
We think everyone can agree this was a pretty momentous Golden Globes. Atlanta got the attention it deserved, Meryl Streep gave an epic acceptance speech, and La La Land scored big. But one thing that hasn’t been mentioned? Casey Affleck’s sexual assaults.
Affleck has been running around representing his film Manchester by the Sea, and yet nobody has even asked him about the sexual assault allegations. You might not even have any idea what we’re talking about because the allegations have been so little talked about. If that’s the case, let us back up.
In 2010, Affleck was accused of sexual harassment by Amanda White, who produced his film I’m Still Here. According to White, he both verbally and physically harassed her while on set. This included telling another crew member to show her his penis and grabbing her in an effort to intimidate her into staying in the same hotel room with him. Later, a second women, the film’s cinematographer Magdalena Gorka also sued Affleck for climbing into bed with her without her permission and proceeding to caress her. At the time, Affleck denied both claims and the suits were settled quietly out of court and away from the spotlight.
So why have these allegations been largely forgotten? The media has mostly celebrated his performance in Manchester and fans have ignored the instances of assault that occurred over six years ago.
We obviously don’t know for sure whether or not he is guilty of these claims. But that does that mean we don’t need to talk about it. Affleck’s sexual assault allegations deserve just as much attention as Nate Parker’s rape allegations and yet Parker’s Birth of a Nation was condemned and Manchester was celebrated. Just because he has a famous last name doesn’t mean he gets to walk away scot-free.