Why Did Rumors Of Sexual Harassment Not Hurt Casey Affleck In Oscar Race? [Opinion]

While Casey Affleck and his movie, Manchester By The Sea, had a big night at the Oscars, there are still many people whispering behind Affleck’s back. Still, others are no longer whispering, but instead, putting their feelings in print about the accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault that have been dogging Affleck for several years. But others are saying if Trump could get elected after the world saw the “grab ’em by the pu**y” video, then Affleck and men in positions of power can do as they please, and not have lewd behavior hurt them professionally.

Perhaps the best case in point of power protecting men against consequences was the video in which Donald Trump claimed that he would grab women against their will to Billy Bush, who encouraged vulgar “locker room” talk, says the Inquisitr. Though both men were in the wrong for the tone of their talk, Trump, the more powerful of the two, professionally and financially, admitted to assaulting women, but moved past the video unscathed, while Billy Bush lost his job on the Today show despite simply being the creepy sidekick.

But Casey Affleck seems to be one in a long line of men in the boy’s club with a teflon coating. A-list male stars do not have to fear a sex or even an assault scandal harming their career, says Elle, and Casey Affleck is a perfect modern example. Whereas the whiff of this type of controversy could still tank a woman, many no longer fear the stink of an A-list white male’s scandal getting on them.


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And sadly, the stories of Casey Affleck sexually harassing women on various projects is that of one actor in a sad, long line of actors and directors who sexually harassed or assaulted women in the entertainment industry. Going back to Last Tango in Paris, where Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando essentially raped star Maria Schneider on film for the rape scene to Mel Gibson who called a female police officer “sugar t*ts,” and threatened a former girlfriend on tape with rape and death, and Roman Polanski, who continues to work despite the fact that he raped a teenager, men of a certain class and level seem to be given a pass.

Casey Affleck seems to be following in the steps of his A-list elders, as he has been accused of sexually harassing female colleagues, particularly on the set of the mockumentary I’m Still Here. Affleck reportedly referred to women on the set as “cows,” and insisted that an on-set employee, Amanda White, share his hotel room (Affleck was married at the time to Summer Phoenix, sister of River and Joaquin Phoenix).When White declined, Affleck bombarded her with abusive text messages that she is said to have saved. Affleck then reportedly grabbed her in a hostile manner.

Another woman who has gone public with a complaint after working with Casey Affleck is cinematographer Magdalene Gorka, who claims that while working on-set with Affleck, she stayed nearby in a hotel. One night, she said she woke up to find Affleck in her bed, dressed only in his underwear. Gorka was finally able to get Affleck out of her room, but as a result of the rejection, Casey Affleck allegedly “rallied crew members to harass and bully her until she quit the project.” Both women filed suit against Affleck.

Huffington Post shared a video of legal documents of the lawsuits filed against Casey Affleck and confirmed that men of a certain level of success in the entertainment, and many other industries, need not worry that sexual harassment or assault will harm their career. But some women in the industry, despite how it might harm their careers, are speaking out against Casey Affleck. Actress Constance Wu, star of the hit television show Fresh Off the Boat, says she was told to stop talking about Affleck, but she says she doesn’t care.

“I’ve been counseled not to talk about this for career’s sake. F my career then, I’m a woman & human first. That’s what my craft is built on. Art doesn’t exist for the sake of awards but awards DO exist to honor all that art is trying to accomplish in life. Awards shouldn’t reinforce the industry’s gross and often hidden mistreatment of women.”

And Constance Wu is not alone as men and women shared their thoughts on Twitter about how some men, like Affleck, seem to be able to weather accusations and sometimes even convictions of assault.

“Casey Affleck won Best Actor. Donald Trump is president. Tell me again how sexual assault charges can ‘ruin’ a man’s career.”

“LOL proof that Hollywood hates women: they made Brie Larson, an advocate for victims of sexual assault, give Casey Affleck an award…twice”

“Women get fired for reporting sexual harassment and men win awards for committing it.”

Huffington Post confirmed that Casey Affleck settled lawsuits with both of the above-mentioned women “to the satisfaction of both parties.” But despite settling the suits, Casey Affleck did not admit guilt, but paid both women regardless. In contrast to the details in the legal filings were the glowing terms in which Matt Damon, a childhood friend of Affleck, describes him, and his “ethics.” Damon called Affleck “one of the best people he has ever known.”

“He agonizes over these decisions because he’s got a lot of integrity. Way more than either his brother or me.”

Based on the details of the cases Affleck settled, that might say frightening things about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Do you think sexual harassment or assault charges should have harmed Casey Affleck’s career?

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]