Casey Affleck opened up on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, about his decision to remain relatively quiet after his 2010 sexual misconduct allegations resurfaced during his award season run for the 2016 film Manchester by the Sea.
"I really wanted to support all but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet, so that I didn’t seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion," Affleck said. "It’s a tough spot to be in especially if you really do appreciate and want to be in support of the side that seems angriest, and the anger is being directed at you."
In 2010, Affleck was sued for sexual harassment by two women who worked on the mockumentary I'm Still Here, a movie that he directed and produced. The film's cinematographer, Magdalena Gorka, was seeking $2.25 million, while one of the film's producers, Amanda White, was demanding $2 million.
Affleck was accused of allegedly crawling into bed with one of the accusers while she was asleep without her consent, and pressuring the other woman into staying in his hotel room and when she refused, the actor "violently grabbed [her] arm in an effort to intimidate her into staying."
The women allege that they were verbally disparaged by Affleck, who also instructed Spacehog guitarist Antony Langdon to expose himself in her presence. Both cases were settled out of court for an undisclosed amount that same year.
Affleck admits to Shepard that he publicly discussed his situation "a little bit," but his intention was
"to honor that, like, okay, this is someone else’s experience of this and it is not my experience but you have to respect that someone else had an experience and take that to heart, and allow for it to be as possible as your memory of that experience."
Affleck also discussed his sexual misconduct allegations in an interview with AP, acknowledging his responsibility for creating an "unprofessional environment," and apologizing to the accusers for a situation that he admittedly regrets.
Affleck continued to step out of the spotlight following his Best Actor Oscar win, pulling himself from the long-standing tradition of having the previous winner present the award to the newest winner in the opposite gender category. Affleck reportedly "did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category."
Affleck was replaced by Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster, who managed to bring levity to that moment with height jokes and Meryl Streep slander.