As Manchester by the Sea hit theaters in December, rumors that Casey Affleck had mistreated his female co-workers on the set of a previous film threatened to harm the movie’s box office returns. Even after Manchester by the Sea proved to be more powerful than any one man’s past, critics cautioned that Casey Affleck would never receive recognition for his work on the Kenneth Lonergan drama, due to his past troubles over allegations of sexual harassment. Now, as it becomes known that Affleck has, in fact, scored an Oscar nomination for Manchester by the Sea, one Hollywood actress is speaking out against Casey’s nomination.
Fresh Off The Boat Star Constance Wu Slams Academy Awards For Honoring Casey Affleck
Upon learning that Affleck had been nominated for an Academy Award for his part in Manchester by the Sea, The Hollywood Reporter shares that actress Constance Wu has taken great offense and has shared her thoughts with her Twitter followers. Wu’s objection over the Casey’s Oscar nomination comes, as news of his misconduct with co-stars and with female staff members working on set resurfaces.
The controversy began in 2010, when two women associated with the Affleck-directed mockumentary, I’m Still Here, filed civil suits against Casey, charging him with sexual assault. After a lengthy battle, a settlement was agreed upon by all parties, but without Mr. Affleck ever admitting any guilt in the matters.
The incident had been largely forgotten, until Manchester by the Sea was released and the actor/director found his past coming back to haunt him.
Ms. Wu is stepping out to criticize the Academy Awards for allowing Affleck to receive recognition for Manchester by the Sea, especially when The Birth of a Nation was completely dismissed, following news that that film’s star, Nate Parker, had previously been tried for rape.
“Men who sexually harass women 4 OSCAR! Bc good acting performance matters more than humanity, human integrity! Bc poor kid rly needs the help!,” Wu tweeted. “Boys! BUY ur way out of trouble by settling out of court!Just do a good acting job, thats all that matters! bc Art isn’t about humanity, right?”
Ms. Wu further commented on the irony of the situation, considering the plot of Manchester by the Sea and Casey’s past experiences with women on set.
“He’s running for an award that honors a craft whose purpose is examining the dignity of the human experience & young women are deeply human,” tweeted Wu.
Constance Wu may continue to be a lone voice. Even Wu reveals that she has been warned to tread lightly in speaking out about the injustice she sees in Affleck’s nomination, yet she says she will continue to speak out from her heart and that means sharing her views of Casey Affleck and his award nominations for Manchester by the Sea.
“I’ve been counseled not to talk about this for career’s sake,” Ms. Wu also tweeted. “F my career then, I’m a woman & human first. That’s what my craft is built on.”
Casey Affleck Is Grateful For His “Deeper And Nicer” Second Oscar Nomination
As People reports, Manchester by the Sea nabbed quite a few nominations, including Casey Affleck’s Best Actor nod. The drama received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan), Best Supporting Actor (Lucas Hedges), and Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams), so Affleck wasn’t alone in scoring recognition for Manchester by the Sea. He can’t speak to how his co-stars and director received news of the nominations, but he does share that he was tired and just waking up, when he learned of his own nomination.
“It’s really the best way to wake up,” says Casey. “I can’t think of a better way.”
Previously, Affleck was received a nomination for his role in 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but the actor says there’s no comparing the two experiences. Casey says he was too young and too new to Hollywood to really appreciate what the 2007 Oscar nomination meant, adding that he was also too starstruck to understand how that kind of peer recognition would affect his career.
“I wasn’t able to take that in and appreciate what was good about that moment,” says Affleck. “This just feels a bit calmer and better and deeper and nicer.”
Casey says that he has learned something from every film he has worked on and that Manchester by the Sea was no different. Working with Kenneth Lonergan, Affleck describes making this drama as something akin to running a marathon. He says it was a long stretch that helped him learn restraint and keeping the story reigned in, instead of letting things get away from him.
“Manchester was a really big stretch. I now feel a bit steadier on my feet,” Affleck says. “There are a lot of things that Kenny did that I admire. I thought the way he could focus on telling a story, it’s a reminder of not having to jump and down and shout and make a big deal out of everything.”
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]