There was a time in early 2017 when it seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Casey Affleck and his scraggly beard campaigning for the Best Actor Oscar. Then he won it, and all of a sudden, Casey Affleck was nowhere to be seen. While he was in a self-imposed hiding, the #MeToo movement happened, and that probably caused Casey to grab a hammer and nail boards over the door to his bunker, to make sure he didn’t leave and get dragged into that hashtag. And it probably had something to do with those sexual harassment allegations that were made by two women who worked on his 2010 mockumentary I’m Still Here.
Casey has a new movie to promote (The Old Man & The Gun), which means talking to people, which means it was inevitable that the allegations would be brought up and he would be forced to address them while looking extremely uncomfortable. That’s what happened during a recent interview with the Associated Press.
Casey was first asked to explain why he was absent from the 2018 Oscars. Casey was supposed to present the award for Best Actress since he won the Best Actor Oscar the year before. Because of #MeToo, he dropped out and Best Actress was presented by Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence instead. At the time, Casey claimed he “did not want to become a distraction.” He stands by his decision.
“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment. And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.”
Casey was then asked if the Time’s Up or #MeToo movements have made him re-evaluate how he handled the sexual harassment allegations against him. Casey can’t really get into details, because he and the two women involved later settled out of court. But Casey says he’s learned from his experience.
“I was a boss. I was one of the producers on the set. This movie was in 2008, 2009 we shot, and I was one of the producers. And it was a crazy mockumentary, very unconventional movie. The cast was the crew and the crew was kind of the cast, and it was an unprofessional environment. And, you know, the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that and that was a mistake. And I contributed to that unprofessional environment, and I tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. And I regret a lot of that. I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss. I don’t even know if I thought of myself as the boss. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”
I can practically feel Brie Larson rolling her eyes from here.
But unprofessional might be an understatement. One of the complaints against Casey was that he allegedly crawled into bed with one of the female crew members, while the other alleged he grabbed her and tried to pull her into his hotel room when she refused his request to stay with him. If Casey thinks that’s what qualifies as on-the-job unprofessionalism, then he’s in for a very rude awakening the first time slips him a resume written in comic sans. “Oh shit, this is what’s considered unprofessional? Yikes.”