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‘It’s a tough spot to be in’, Casey Affleck opens up on #MeToo movement

Academy award-winning actor, Casey Affleck, who previously faced sexual harassment allegations is finally speaking in support of the #MeToo movement, promoting his next directorial Light of My Life, which releases in the US on Friday.

The actor-director talked about the accusations against him while appearing on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert.

When asked about the #MeToo movement, Affleck said, “It is very, very hard to talk about, and it scares me”.

The 43-year-old actor turned director was accused of sexual harassment by two female co-workers while making the 2010 mockumentary I’m Still Here, which was directed by him.

Though Casey Affleck did settle the lawsuits that stemmed from the allegations, however, they made a come back haunting him during his Oscar campaign for the 2017 feature Manchester by the Sea.

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The actor even withdrew from the 2018 Oscars, the year after his big win, saying he did not “want to become a distraction” as conversations at the ceremony focused on inequality in the entertainment industry.

During the conversation, he told Shepard that he took the decision to remain “quiet” in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement because he did not want to be misinterpreted as someone who opposes it.

“The way that I’m thought of sometimes by certain people recently has been so antithetical to who I really am,” Affleck said on the podcast. “It’s been frustrating and not being able to talk about it has been hard because I really wanted to support all of that, but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet so I didn’t seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion.”

The actor said it confuses him to see that there are people in the world who are not in support of #MeToo.

“Who would not be supportive of the #MeToo movement? That’s an idea that’s even out there? That there are some people saying we do not believe in equality and we think the workplace should be a dangerous place for certain people and not for others. That’s preposterous,” Affleck added.

He said the values of #MeToo are “at the heart of my being”. “Just the way I was raised, they are baked into my own value system having been raised by a mother who didn’t let us watch Dukes Of Hazard when we were like eight years old because it was sexist”,  he added.

While encouraging the listeners not to group everybody implicated by the MeToo movement in one “sweeping judgement”, Casey Affleck demanded for a complete overhaul of the industry that actively disenfranchises women.

Saman Siddiqui

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