“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,” Affleck told the Boston Globe, which noted that he answered “wearily.” “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.”
Affleck, whose settlement legally prohibits him or his alleged victims from discussing the details of the case, has remained mostly mum about the situation throughout awards season. Affleck’s troubling allegations first resurfaced in a Mashable article published in September, after which it defined his Oscar narrative so heavily that some expected he would lose his front-runner status.
Affleck addressed the allegations in Variety and New York Times profiles, telling the former outlet, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond. I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be, because everybody has families and lives.”
The “Manchester by the Sea” actor’s publicity team worked to quash the escalating story, which recounted 2010 lawsuits in which two women accused Affleck of unwanted sexual advances during the making of “I’m Still Here.” Affleck’s reps said the case was settled to the content of both parties.
Affleck seemed to hint at the negative attention while accepting the Golden Globe in January, saying, “It’s my kids who give me permission to do this because they have the character to keep at bay all the noise that sometimes surrounds people who live publicly.”
It didn’t seem like Hollywood was listening anyway, as Affleck racked up almost every major precursor prize until Denzel Washington beat him for the Screen Actors Guild Award, which typically predicts the Oscar. Washington’s victory left pundits wondering whether the scrutiny would indeed prove damning, but in the end, Affleck walked away an Oscar winner.
The degree to which these allegations will haunt the rest of Affleck’s career is yet to be seen. His IMDb page lists four upcoming projects, so he isn’t hurting for jobs. But Affleck, 41, should be prepared to answer questions about his past for the rest of his time as a public figure.