Casey Affleck Apologizes for Behavior Amid 'Me Too' Backlash

Casey Affleck apologized for the "unprofessional" behavior that led to two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010, amid the Me Too backlash against him.

In 2010, two women filed sexual harassment lawsuits against him for his actions during filming if the I'm Still Here mockumentary with Joaquin Phoenix. The lawsuits were settled out of court.

The lawsuits earned fresh media attention in 2016, when Affleck was campaigning for an Oscar for his performance in Manchester By The Sea. Affleck won that Oscar and was set to present Best Actress at the 2018 Oscars, but stepped aside. Instead, Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster presented Best Actress.

"The cast was the crew and the crew was kind of the cast and it was an unprofessional environment and, you know, the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that and that was a mistake," Affleck said of I'm Still Here in a new interview with The Associated Press.

"And I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadn't. And I regret a lot of that."

Affleck, who directed and produced I'm Still Here, also took responsibility for the atmosphere on the set.

"I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss. I don't even know if I thought of myself as the boss," Affleck told the AP. "But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I'm sorry."

As for the lawsuits, Affleck said he regretted that he was "ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit."

He added that he wishes he "found a way to resolve things in a different way."

"I hate that. I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing and I didn't know how to handle it and I didn't agree with everything, the way I was being described, and the things that were said about me, but I wanted to try to make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time," he said. "And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as they've respected me and my privacy. And that's that."

Affleck described his decision not to present at the Oscars as the "right thing to do given everything that was going on in our culture. And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing."

The actor also recently launched his own production company, Sea Change Media, with Whitaker Lader, who Affleck described as a "very, very smart woman" who is "way ahead of the curve on all of these issues."

"I know just enough to know that in general I need to keep my mouth shut and listen and try to figure out what's going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can," Affleck told the AP. "And we do that at our production company and I try to do it at home, and if I'm ever called upon by anyone to help in any way and contribute, I'd be more than happy to."

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Affleck's next film is Robert Redford's The Old Man & The Gun, which reunites Affleck with David Lowery, the director of A Ghost Story and Ain't Them Bodies Saints. The Old Man & The Gun hits theaters on Sept. 28.

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