So Casey Affleck has finally decided to apologise for his “unprofessional” behaviour on the set of his 2010 film I’m Still Here.
“I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional,” the 42-year-old told Associated Press this week. “And I’m sorry.”
During a lengthy interview with the news agency, Affleck presented himself as an enlightened man, and spoke of how he “learned a lot” over the past few years.
To recap, almost 10 years ago on the set of his passion project, two of the film’s crew have claimed the director behaved grossly inappropriately and filed multi-million dollar lawsuits against him.
Most appalling of producer Amanda White and cinematographer Magdalena Gorka’s accusations are that Affleck once crawled into Gorka’s bed while she was sleeping. On another occasion, he tried to convince White to stay in a hotel room with him, and when she refused he “grabbed her in a hostile manner in an effort to intimidate her into complying”, she alleged in court documents.
He also allegedly spoke about his “sexual exploits” a lot during filming and told another crew member to show White his penis.
The excruciating moment Brie Larson announced Affleck had won best actor. Post continues.
Affleck denied these sexual harassment allegations, yet settled out of court with both women for undisclosed amounts.
Addressing these lawsuits now, he expressed his disappointment he did not manage to “resolve things in a different way”.
“I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life, and it was really embarrassing,” he added, not failing to include a reminder about how these accusations affected him.
“I didn’t know how to handle it, and I didn’t agree with everything, the way I was being described, and the things that were said about me, but I wanted to try to make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time.
“And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as they’ve respected me and my privacy. And that’s that.”
Except after “making it right” Affleck continued to dodge questions and deny his wrongdoing for years. Making us wonder, why, of all times, he has chosen to apologise now.
Perhaps because he now has a movie to promote?
Affleck has said it’s because he’s just now realised what he did warranted an apology after “listening” to conversations during the #MeToo movement (yet holding his tongue when criticism of him was at its height).
“I kind of moved from a place of being defensive to one of a more mature point of view, trying to find my own culpability. And once I did that I discovered there was a lot to learn,” he said.
“I was a boss. I was one of the producers on the set. This movie was (shot in 2008, 2009) and I was one of the producers… 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 behaviour 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.”
It’s a careful response that on the surface looks a lot like a man accepting blame, yet also unnecessarily implied that others behaved badly, as if to say “hey, but it wasn’t just me!”. He also managed to sanitise his alleged sexual misconduct, describing it only as “unprofessional” behaviour.
Affleck added that “as a dad” he wanted his sons to know they should take responsibility for their actions.
“I have two boys, so I want to be in a world where grown men model compassion and decency and also contrition when it’s called for, and I certainly tell them to own their mistakes when they make them.”
We just hope they’re not looking to their dad as an example.