Affleck is out of the Oscars.
Winning Best Actor last year for his role as an alcoholic uncle in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, Affleck withdrew Thursday from presenting at this year’s Academy Awards due to previous allegations of sexual misconduct.
The allegations reportedly took place in late 2008 and early 2009 while filming the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here, where Casey Affleck served as director for the project. During that time, producer Amanda White and cinematographer Magdalena Gorka claimed that Affleck frequently harassed them during production, with the instances including calling women “cows,” coercing a crew member to reveal his genitalia, openly discussing his sexual encounters with other women, locking White out of her bedroom, and getting into bed uninvited with Gorka wearing only underwear and a T-shirt.
The dispute was settled outside of court and didn’t resurface until Affleck’s Best Actor win last year, where viewers were ignited by Affleck’s past allegations of misconduct and expressed outrage for his Oscar win. Even presenter Brie Larson was visibly upset with Affleck’s win, going as far as to refuse to clap for him when he came up to the stage to accept his award.
The Academy Awards are structured to where the year’s previous Oscar winner presents for next year’s opposite acting category. Since Affleck won Best Actor in the 2017 ceremony, that put him in line to present for this year’s Best Actress category.
Obviously, that would have lead to a lot of discomfort and awkwardness in the Dolby Theatre.
Realizing this, Affleck withdrew from presenting at the Oscars Thursday, citing that he did not want to distract from the actresses’ performances in the category, Deadline reports.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not yet clarified who will present the category in his place. One possibility is actress Emma Stone, who won Best Actress last year for her performance in the musical La La Land. Since she is already scheduled to present for the Best Actor category this year, it makes sense to have her present for Best Actress as well, especially since those awards are presented back-to-back anyway.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place Sunday, March 4 on ABC. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will be returning to host from the previous year.