Casey Affleck has opened up about the sexual harassment allegations made against him and discussed his decision to "just stay quiet" amid the #MeToo movement.
The 43-year-old faced sexual harassment allegations from Amanda White and Magdalena Gorka, who worked with him on Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Still Here in 2010. He denied the claims and both cases were settled out of court.
The Oscar-wining star confessed that he felt accountable for condoning and contributing to an unprofessional working environment on the set.
Speaking during an episode of Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert yesterday, he said: “I think it’s a lesson that I had to sort of learn and be humble about; I was the producer. I was technically the boss.”
Affleck said that there was "a ton of partying" on the set of the mockumentary, which followed Phoenix's short-lived career change from acting to rap, telling Shepard: "It was confusing for everybody, and it was deliberately, and that's my responsibility. The intention was to have the crew as part of the movie. I didn't know how much they knew they were part of the movie."
He also added that he felt it was best to keep a low profile when the sexual harassment allegations resurfaced at the height of the #MeToo movement.
“I really wanted to support all but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet,” he said.
Shepard’s co-host, Monica Padman, suggested that the fact that women are also able to make false allegations is never considered.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s helpful to say that well women lie, or to approach the argument from the point of who is lying; It actually doesn’t help,” Affleck argued.
“What really matters is you resolve this in a way without hitting each other and calling each other liars. It’s not really the most important part of it.”
The Manchester By Sea star emphasised that he completely stands by the #MeToo initiative, asking: “Who would not be supportive of the MeToo movement? That’s an idea that’s even out there?”
The writer and director also touched on whether it’s possible to gauge which cases of misconduct are the worst compared to others.
He said: “[It] isn’t about, oh well this isn’t so bad, and that’s really horrible. It’s that it’s systemic.
“It is accepted culturally at it’s tamest manifestation of it and at it’s worst, and that it all needs to be turned on it’s head, eradicated, not allowed for, and that kind of like lightning bolt I think is effective.”
Last August, Affleck apologised for his “unprofessional” behaviour on the I’m Still Here set, telling AP: “It was an unprofessional environment … the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that.”