Casey Affleck is an American actor who has starred in many acclaimed films like Gone Baby Gone, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Manchester by the Sea.
However, in recent years, Affleck has become quite controversial and unpopular with many people due to allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. This article will explore the main reasons why Affleck has drawn so much backlash and anger from the public.
Allegations of Sexual Harassment
One of the biggest reasons Affleck is disliked is because of allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women in the past. In 2010, two women who worked with Affleck on the film I’m Still Here filed sexual harassment lawsuits against him.
The women claimed Affleck made unwanted sexual advances, pressured them to stay in his hotel room, and created a hostile work environment. While Affleck denied the allegations, he eventually settled both lawsuits out of court. This led to a lot of public scrutiny and anger towards Affleck at the height of the #MeToo movement.
Settlements Viewed as Admission of Guilt
Many viewed Affleck’s out of court settlements as an admission of guilt. Settlements are often used by high-profile figures to avoid negative publicity and drawn out court cases. But this strategy seriously backfired for Affleck, as it made him look like he was trying to cover up inappropriate behavior.
This perception was made even worse when Affleck attempted to stop the women from discussing the settlements publicly. This aggressive legal action violated their right to speak out and only made Affleck seem more guilty in the public eye.
Brie Larson’s Oscar Speech
Affleck drew more backlash during the 2017 Academy Awards when Brie Larson refused to clap for him. Larson, who won Best Actress for Room, is an outspoken advocate for sexual assault survivors.
Her refusal to acknowledge Affleck as he presented an award was seen as a symbolic condemnation of his alleged misconduct. This high-profile diss at the Oscars reignited anger towards Affleck and reinforced the perception that his behavior was unacceptable.
Comparisons to Brother Ben Affleck
Another factor in Casey Affleck’s unpopularity is constant comparison to his more famous brother, Ben Affleck. Ben has overcome many scandals himself, including alleged sexual misconduct, gambling addiction, and alcoholism.
Perception of Privilege and Entitlement
While Ben has worked to redeem himself in recent years, many feel Casey has not shown proper contrition or personal growth after his allegations. Casey is perceived as using his privilege and Hollywood connections to avoid responsibility for his actions.
Additionally, Casey had a reputation for being aloof and entitled long before the allegations surfaced. This further paints him as an unsympathetic figure unwilling to acknowledge his wrongdoings.
Ben’s Reputation Rehab
In contrast, Ben has addressed his issues much more publicly in interviews and award speeches. He has acknowledged past mistakes, gone to rehab, and worked to support charitable causes. This perceived accountability has helped rehabilitate Ben’s image in a way that Casey has not achieved.
Best Actor Oscar Controversy
The biggest backlash against Casey Affleck came in 2017 when he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea.
Oscar Wins Despite Allegations
Many were angry that Affleck could be honored with Hollywood’s highest accolade despite his sexual harassment allegations. Presenting him with an Oscar seemed to condone his behavior.
There was significant outcry on social media and from women’s advocacy groups, with some calling the win “an endorsement of Affleck’s abhorrent behavior.”
Comparisons to Nate Parker
Affleck’s win was especially controversial because it came a year after Nate Parker’s Oscar hopes were dashed. Parker’s acclaimed film Birth of a Nation was buried amidst resurfaced rape allegations from his past.
The stark contrast in how Parker and Affleck were treated by the Academy was not lost on critics. It highlighted racial bias given that Parker is African American while Affleck is white.
Brie Larson’s Reluctant Presentation
Adding insult to injury was Brie Larson having to present the award to Affleck. Photos showing her refusing to clap or smile went viral, crystallizing anger that Affleck was being honored at all.
Lack of Apology or Admission
Perhaps the biggest reason Casey Affleck remains unpopular is his lack of a meaningful public apology or admission.
Affleck has only made vague statements about the settlements being resolved to “everybody’s satisfaction” and that he hopes people feel he’s “evolved.” He has not offered a direct apology or taken responsibility for specific actions.
No Public Display of Contrition
Additionally, he has not publicly addressed the allegations on major platforms or interviews. His lack of a heartfelt, contrite press tour means Affleck has not humanized himself or displayed remorse.
Refusing to Comment on Allegations
Affleck also comes off as dismissive or insensitive when refusing to answer questions about the allegations. This includes cutting off an interview when asked about them. His tight-lipped responses frustrate those who want accountability.
In summary, Casey Affleck elicits strong dislike from the public for multiple reasons. Allegations of sexual harassment, unflattering comparisons to his brother, controversial Oscar wins, and his lack of apology have all fueled negative perceptions.
Until Affleck meaningfully addresses the accusations and makes amends, he will likely remain a highly controversial figure. The ball is in his court to take responsibility and show real remorse for past misdeeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why didn’t Casey Affleck properly apologize?
Affleck likely did not apologize or admit wrongdoing because he wanted to avoid legal liability. A direct admission could undermine the terms of his settlements and open him up to new lawsuits or damages. However, this legal strategy damaged his reputation.
How has the #MeToo movement impacted Casey Affleck?
The #MeToo movement bringing sexual assault into the mainstream spotlight has severely damaged Affleck’s reputation. Allegations that may have been dismissed in the past are now taken much more seriously.
Could Casey Affleck make a comeback?
It’s possible but very unlikely Casey Affleck could make a significant Hollywood comeback. It would require him to directly address the allegations, offer an authentic apology, and demonstrate through his actions that he has changed.
Does Casey Affleck regret settling the lawsuits?
He likely regrets how the settlements backfired by making him look guilty in the public eye. However, settling allowed Affleck to avoid drawn out court proceedings and potential criminal charges.
The nondisclosure agreements also limited bad press at the time. Still, he seems to underestimate the reputational damage of settling.
What kind of statement could help rehabilitate Casey’s image?
A meaningful television interview where he apologizes unreservedly and transparently answers tough questions could help.
However, Casey would need to accept culpability, recognize why his actions were wrong, and convince audiences of his sincerity. It would be an enormously difficult endeavor after years of blanket denials.