Casey Affleck has a few regrets. The actor spoke candidly in a new interview about settling two civil lawsuits in 2010 after being accused of sexual misconduct on the set of his mockumentary I’m Still Here.
“First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret,” Affleck, 42, told the Associated Press on Thursday, August 9. “I wish I had 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. 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.”
Speaking about the #MeToo movement for the first time, the Manchester by the Sea star acknowledged that he has “learned a lot” in recent years about how to behave on set.
“[I’m Still Here] 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,” he admitted. “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. 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. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”
Affleck opted to withdraw from presenting at the 2018 Academy Awards in March during the height of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Instead, Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence handed out the trophy for best actress to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star Frances McDormand.
“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment,” he told the news agency on Thursday. “And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.”
Moving forward, the Oscar winner said he wants to make sure that his sons, Indiana, 14, and Atticus, 10, whom he shares with ex-wife Summer Phoenix, are educated about social issues.
“I’ve taken these lessons with me that I’ve learned, not just to work but to home and as dad, and it informs how you parent,” he said. “I have two boys, so I want to be in a world where grown men model compassion and decency and also contrition when it’s called for, and I certainly tell them to own their mistakes when they make them.”
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