Affleck, who won the Best Actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea last year, will break with tradition by not presenting. Affleck told the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that he does not plan on being there and did not want to distract from the current crop of Best Actress nominees, sources told Deadline.
Traditionally, the acting Oscars are presented by the previous year's winners. It is not a tradition set in stone though. For example, the 81st Academy Awards in 2009 had groups of previous winners present the acting awards.
Affleck's past with sexual harassment allegations made his possible presence at the first Oscars since the #MeToo movement began problematic.
In 2010, the actor was accused of inappropriate behavior while filming his 2010 mockumentary I'm Still Here with Joaquin Phoenix. Two women filed lawsuits against Affleck, and both were settled out of court for undisclosed amounts. Affleck has denied the charges.
“It was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it,” he wrote to the New York Times. “It was an unfortunate situation — mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.”
“People say whatever they want,” Affleck told Variety. “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 lives.”
During last year's Oscar season, the allegations resurfaced, but Affleck still won Best Actor for Manchester By The Sea, in which he played a father tormented by his past. Brie Larson, who won Best Actress for playing a sexual assault survivor in 2015's Room, refused to clap when she presented Affleck with the award.
Last year's other acting winners were Moonlight's Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone of La La Land and Fences' Viola Davis.
The 90th Academy Awards will be produced by Jennifer Todd and Michael De Luca, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting for the second consecutive year.
The ceremony is set for March 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC/Randy Holmes