Film

Not Everyone In Hollywood Was Thrilled With Casey Affleck’s Oscar Win

There was more than one silent protest happening at the awards.

This post discusses sexual assault.

Yesterday Casey Affleck won Best Leading Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance in Manchester By The Sea, a film that by all accounts seems to deeply disturb anyone who watches it.

This win — over favourite, Denzel Washington, who won the Best Actor SAG — was a shock to many, who thought that Affleck’s Oscar chances were dimmed by the emergence of sexual assault allegations against him last year.

These sexual assault allegations against Affleck actually date back to the filming of I’m Still Here in 2010. The matter was settled out of court, however some (like Constance Wu) have questioned why these events have largely been ignored in coverage of Casey Affleck’s recent success up until now — particularly as Nate Parker’s assault claims were certainly the focus while he was promoting Birth of A Nation — pointing out that the privilege of his family name has seemingly protected his career.

This is why, when Casey Affleck did win last night, people were very pissed.

Interestingly, the reaction to Affleck’s win in the room seems to have also been divided. Hollywood is often accused of ignoring the abuses of powerful men, letting uncomfortable truths be secondary to artistic achievement. But it looks like some celebrities were not interested in being complicit in Affleck’s redemption narrative.

It was Brie Larson who displayed the most obvious disappointment at Affleck’s win, seemingly refusing to clap when Affleck collected the award she presented. Larson — who is a sexual assault survivor advocate — won an Oscar last year for Room, a film about a women who suffers repeated sexual assaults by her captor.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.