One of the things about being a celebrity is that the dumb stuff that you say lasts forever, and that’s been the case since before the internet was even a thing.
To no one’s real surprise, Ben Affleck said something dumb — 20 years ago. That statement was published, and Evan Rachel Wood blasted him into next week.
We’re getting some Sad Ben Affleck vibes again.
So, 20 years ago, Ben Affleck had a same-sex kiss in a film called Chasing Amy.
Paper Magazine decided to share that in a wildly clickbaity tweet that made it sound like he’d just said it:
“Ben Affleck says gay kissing is ‘the biggest acting challenge an actor could face.'”
That line is followed by a link to the article and then an emoji used to indicate judgmental pondering.
Clearly, it was designed to evoke outrage directed at, quite frankly, an easy target.
And, of course, to get retweets and clicks. Everybody understands that.
Evan Rachel Wood saw the tweet.
We don’t know if she saw or read the article before making her first tweet.
But honestly, it doesn’t really matter.
Ben’s statement was a dumbass and homophobic thing to say in the ’90s, too.
Even if society didn’t think so.
“Try getting raped in a scene. Also, grow up Ben.”
She’s had some famously upsetting sexual assault scenes on Westworld.
(Though no one should ever make a robot with genuine feelings or the capacity for suffering but that’s a Westworld rant for another day)
Remember that sexual assault is not just an acting issue for Evan Rachel Wood, who has been raped.
It’s a far too common experience.
Obviously, he’s “grown up” since he made that statement, and someone pointed that out.
Evan Rachel Wood responded:
“I’m sure he just thought it was funny, but even jokes like that are damaging.”
She’s absolutely right, of course.
Homophobic jokes contribute to the same homophobic culture that leads to gay people dying.
Evan Rachel Wood is bi, so this has to hit close to home for her, and not just as an actress.
She follows up with a delightful burn, though it’s not directed solely at Ben Affleck.
“Also, you think us ladies like kissing all the guys we kiss? Just ’cause it’s a ‘straight kiss’ doesn’t mean we enjoy it. Ahem.”
She is such a gift.
We’d ask someone to print out and frame that tweet, but even though it was made just yesterday, Evan Rachel Wood has already deleted it.
Not because of regrets, but because people who don’t follow her apparently took notice and started spamming her mentions with vitriol.
She explained deleting the mini-thread in a new tweet:
“I have deleted the thread because of the sickening things people have written in response.”
But she made it clear that she’s not running — just avoiding giving a platform to evil.
“I dont want to give that kind of hatred a place.”
We can only guess the sorts of homophobic things that were showing up in her mentions.
Things about her, to be sure.
And likely unspeakable things about male kissing or perhaps even sexual assault.
People will say all sorts of things when they’re in a mob and when they believe that they’re anonymous.
Platforms like Twitter give awful people an experience that combines anonymity and mob mentality.
Though most of us on Twitter just want to talk about politics and video games and memes.
Even though his comments weren’t okay back in the ’90s or today, we don’t think that Ben Affleck would say something that dumb anymore.
Sure, he might play a Batman who has guns on his Batmobile, even though that makes zero sense for the character.
That’s not on the same level as transparent homophobia.
But, even if Ben Affleck’s girlfriend is pregnant, we don’t think that he’s going to reinforce those homophobic ideas on a future generation.
For the record, kissing someone, whether you’re attracted to them or their gender or not, isn’t a big deal.
Not when you’re past high school, anyway.
Actors kiss people they aren’t attracted to all of the time.
Goodness, how many women has Matt Bomer kissed on screen?
Or Thomas Dekker, who only just came out? Or Colton Haynes?
The only difference between their “acting challenge” of kissing ladies on screen and Ben’s of kissing a man is homophobia.