February 27, 2017

A Really Dodgy Casey Affleck Won an Oscar Today

casey affleck

 

This is what happens when we normalize and downplay sexual assault. The victims are shamed and silenced while the culprit gets an Oscar.

Casey Affleck, sporting a creepy old man’s beard and man bun, walked away with the Best Actor nod from this year’s Academy Awards for Manchester By the Sea (produced by his brother’s best bro, Matt Damon). The fact that he even got nominated in the first place is already disgusting. Constance Wu was quick to point out in a series of tweets after the announcement of his nomination.

 

Casey settled in both counts of the sexual harassment law suits from co-workers in his flop film I’m Still Here. The allegations include forcing the victims to expose themselves to him, sleeping beside the victims without their permission, and locking himself and co-star Joaquin Phoenix in the women’s hotel bedroom with the intention to have sex with them.

Casey’s lawyers said they first wanted to counter sue but ended up paying the women out of court. The lawsuits were pegged at $2 million and $2.25 million.

It’s already bad that it’s brushed off and not talked about. It’s bad that Casey isn’t showing any remorse about the matter. In a New York Times interview, Casey said, “lt was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset—I am sure all were—but I am over it,” he wrote. “It was an unfortunate situation—mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.” 

Hurt and upset? Casey, that’s a very simplistic way to describe something grave. In Variety, the actor even tried to play the victim card, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond… I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be because everybody has families and live.”

Great. Casey now has an Oscar, he can do no wrong? It’s an affront that this man is given a citation for his acting chops when he’s a man of doubtful morals. Don’t give me the defense that a man who does great in his art is different from the man in real life. This is just like how you said  Brock Turner is a good swimmer thus does not deserve jail time just because he’s a rapist.

And no, you can’t tell me that The Academy is not responsible for condemning men who are accused of sexual assault. The Academy is responsible for giving recognition to the men and women who push the industry forward. They give awards to those who are to be considered as excellent examples in film and acting. They have a role in recognizing films that best represent the societal issues at hand.

In a painful irony, Casey’s award was presented by Brie Larson, star of the film Room, where sexual assault was a crucial issue. Brie hugged every sexual assault survivor that shared Lady Gaga’s Oscar stage as she performed “Til It Happens To You” and has been vocal about the issue throughout her career. Her lack of applause as Casey accepted the award, it has been speculated, spoke of her dismay at Casey’s win and is her subtle way of standing up to the injustice. Fans have rallied behind Brie’s reaction (or lack thereof) to also express their disapproval.

This is not the first time The Academy has acted tone deaf towards men who are accused of sexual assault. Hi there, Mr. Woody Allen. I suppose everyone is expected to look up to Casey now. He’s good at acting anyway, so let’s forgive him.

This, on top of beating out two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, the dreamy men that are Ryan Gosling and Andrew Garfield (who both have no criminal record), and Viggo Mortensen who is Aragorn! He’s the King of Gondor!

I’m not surprised he won though. A sexual assault accusation is  considered a badge of honor these days, rather than a point of guilt and shame. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at President Donald J. Trump.

 

Photo courtesy of LiveMint

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Academy Awards, Best Actor, Brock Turner, Casey Affleck, Oscars, Preen, Preen.ph, sexual assault



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