Actor-director Casey Affleck addressed allegations of sexual harassment for the first time saying that he contributed to an “unprofessional environment” on the film set of “Im Still Here”.
The 42-year-old said he took responsibility for the “really unprofessional” atmosphere on the set of the 2010 film that led to civil lawsuits from two women who worked on the production, reports theguardian.com.
During Affleck’s Best Actor campaign for an Oscar for his film “Manchester By the Sea” in 2016, the spotlight was turned back on the civil lawsuits for breach of contract filed by a cinematographer and a producer who worked on “I’m Still Here”.
One of the women also sued him for sexual harassment, and both described an uncomfortable atmosphere on the set of the unconventional mockumentary.
“It was an unprofessional environment…. The buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that,” Affleck said while talking about “I’m Still Here”, which he produced and directed.
“I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behaviour from other people and I wish that I hadn’t.”
He added: “I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”
Although the lawsuits were settled out of court, Affleck’s name became associated with a long list of men who have abused power in Hollywood. While he has addressed the lawsuits, he also has not spoken publicly since the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements took hold 10 months ago, reports theguardian.com.
“In this business, women have been underrepresented and underpaid and objectified and diminished and humiliated and belittled in a bazillion ways and just generally had a mountain of grief thrown at them forev””,” he said.
“And no one was really making too much of a fuss about it, myself included, until a few women with the kind of courage and wisdom to stand up and say, ‘You know what? Enough is enough,” Affleck said.
“Those are the people who are kind of leading this conversation and should be leading the conversation. And I know just enough to know that in general I need to keep my mouth shut and listen and try to figure out what’s going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can.”
Of his decision to do an interview now, Affleck said: “If I’m not promoting a movie, I’m not going to do any press, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me.”