Casey Affleck has said he’s “learned a lot” from the Me Too Movement, apologising for previously contributing to an “unprofessional environment” on the set of 2010 film ‘I’m Still Here’.
The actor faced accusations of sexual harassment from two women who were involved in the production of the movie and both cases were settled out of court for an undisclosed settlement fee.
Speaking to Associated Press, Casey has reflected on the controversy, stating that he “really regrets” that he was “ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit”.
“I wish I had found a way to resolve things in a different way,” he said. “I hate that. I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing and 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.”
Referencing Me Too, he continued: “Over the past couple of years, I’ve been listening a lot to this conversation, this public conversation, and learned a lot.
“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. I was a boss. I was one of the producers on the set.”
Casey described the set as an “unprofessional environment” that he “contributed” to, stating: “I regret a lot of that.
“I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional,” he continued. “And I’m sorry.”
Casey’s past came under scrutiny when he won Best Actor at the 2016 Oscars.
A year later, with Me Too still dominating headlines, he decided to break from Academy Awards tradition and declined to present the 2018 Best Actress award.
Addressing that decision, he added: “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 [Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence] go present the Best Actress award felt like the right thing.”
The Me Too Movement saw many people, mostly women, from both in and outside of the entertainment industry, speaking out about the sexual misconduct, abuse and harassment they have faced.
A Time’s Up legal fund was also launched, to raise money to help anyone who has been harassed at work take their case to court.