The 89th Academy Awards was Casey Affleck’s time to shine. The prestigious event, that unfolded at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, gave him his first ever Oscar trophy for Best Actor for his portrayal of a sullen janitor-turned-guardian in the film Manchester By the Sea.
Many people noted that Casey has finally come out of the shadow of his older brother Ben Affleck. When he was adjudged winner at the recent Academy Awards, netizens expressed their sentiments via the social media.
While some reminded the populace that Casey Affleck was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, others asked what it has to do with his acting. Casey’s delineation of his character in Manchester By the Sea had been described as a “fiercely disciplined screen performance.”
Twitter-sphere was abuzz with angry commenters. One follower, who noted how Best Actor award presenter Brie Larson Brie Larson once stood and hugged every sexual assault survivor who was on stage with Gaga and now had to give a congratulatory gesture to Casey Affleck, tweeted, “This is America… the land where a sexual predator can be president. So don’t be surprised.”
During the actual awards event, audiences politely applauded as Casey Affleck went onstage to collect his Best Actor Oscar trophy. A widely disseminated photograph showed Brie not clapping. She had her hands at her side.
A Tarnished Image
The movie-watching public first got a glimpse of Casey’s acting potential during the 1990s, in films starring Hollywood heavyweights — To Die For and Good Will Hunting. Years after, he bagged a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
In 2010, while taking on the directorial helm for the mockumentary I’m Still Here featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Casey was sued by two co-workers. One of them was I’m Still Here’s producer Amanda White, who decried his uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace.
The other victim was the film’s cinematographer, Magdalena Gorka, who stated that she was subjected to “routine instances” of sexual harassment by crew members with the active encouragement of Affleck. Both of the lawsuits against Casey were extrajudicially settled.
Actress Constance Wu was among the individuals reportedly not happy with Casey Affleck’s recent triumph. Wu and other activists had negative sentiments not because they disagree that he rendered a breakthrough performance, but more because of his alleged past behavior towards women.