Casey Affleck, who previously faced sexual harassment allegations, is speaking out about supporting the Me Too movement while promoting his new film, which takes place in a world where ― checks notes ― women don’t exist.
The Oscar winner sat down with Dax Shepard for the most recent episode of Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast and reflected on the fallout of the accusations that he verbally and physically harassed two women on the set of the hoax Joaquin Phoenix documentary, “I’m Still Here.”
Affleck declares he unequivocally stands in solidarity with victims of abuse, saying it’s “preposterous” that anybody would do otherwise, but admits he’s still nervous to talk about his opinions publicly.
“I can’t imagine who would not be supportive of the Me Too movement,” he said on the podcast, which was released Sunday. “But it’s very, very hard to talk about and it scares me, mostly because the values of the Me Too movement are values that are at the heart of my being, just the way I was raised.”
Affleck has consistently denied the allegations against him and settled suits for undisclosed amounts. Both women signed nondisclosure agreements.
He has, however, since apologized for not creating a professional atmosphere as the director of “I’m Still Here,” admitting that there was a “ton of partying” on set.
“It was a big mess and it’s not something I would do again,” he said of making the film. “I would be way smarter, more sensible, more sensitive to it being a workplace if I were to try to do this again.”
Despite the increased attention on the allegations against him during his successful Oscar bid for “Manchester By The Sea,” Affleck has continued to find work, while remaining relatively tight-lipped about the backlash against him.
The actor even skipped the awards show the year after his big win, saying he did not “want to become a distraction” as conversations at the ceremony focused on inequality in the entertainment industry.
“The way that I’m thought of sometimes by certain people recently has been so antithetical to who I really am,” Affleck said on the podcast. “It’s been frustrating and not being able to talk about it has been hard because I really wanted to support all of that, but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet so I didn’t seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion.”
While Affleck encouraged listeners not to group everybody implicated by the Me Too movement in one “sweeping judgement,” he went on to call for a complete overhaul of the industry that actively disenfranchises women.
He said: “It is systemic and it is accepted culturally at its tamest manifestation and at its worst and it all needs to be turned on its head and eradicated.”