Casey Affleck has finally spoken out about the sexual harassment charges that have plagued him for months.
For years, really, but these allegations have especially come to the forefront for the actor ever since the release (and subsequent critical acclaim) of his latest film, Manchester by the Sea.
Affleck, of course, was awarded with the Best Actor trophy for his role in this drama on Sunday night at the Oscars.
About seven years ago, however, two women who worked with Affleck on the movie I’m Still Here filed separate lawsuits, both of which accused him of “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace.”
Affleck denied the allegations and both cases were settled out of court.
In a statement made at the time, a spokesperson for the star said the dispute had “been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties and the lawsuits are being dismissed.”
But questions have remained.
Many folks have been uncomfortable with the recognition (in the form of positive press and many awards) Affleck has received in the wake of his Manchester by the Sea performance.
Brie Larson, for example, presented Affleck with the Academy Award this week…
… and then stood around on stage, refusing to clap for him.
Affleck has remained entirely silent on this controversial topic ever since the allegations returned to the spotlight last year.
But he finally addressed them in a post-Oscars interview with The Boston Globe.
This is what he said:
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 only other time Affleck addressed these charges was in a chat with The New York Times several months ago.
He made the same sort of general, mostly meaningless statement in early November, too.
“It was settled to the satisfaction of all,” he told the paper, adding:
“I was hurt and upset – I am sure all were – but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation – mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.”
Affleck has said that the terms of his settlement with the alleged victims prohibit him from speaking in detail about the lawsuits.
Which is fair.
But he might as well have saved himself a few words and simply released a shrug emoji as his statement in these cases.
That would have said just as much, really.