Ben Affleck has issued a public statement in support of Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and has called the Hollywood producer and sexual harasser out on his behaviour.
In his post, he says he is angry that a man he has worked with has used his position of power to sexually assault women in Hollywood. It’s a very important statement, and full marks to Ben for coming out with this statement. He especially asks what he can do to better support the women in Hollywood.
So perhaps, Ben should first look closer home? As a first step, perhaps Ben should ask questions of his brother Casey Affleck?
Casey has been accused by two women of sexual assault and rape. Casey, as a powerful Hollywood actor and brother of a producer, director and star, used his position of power to allegedly intimidate, sexually harass, and manipulate women and got away with it. Like Weinstein, he settled with the two women outside of court. So much so that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed it fit to give him an Oscar for best performance.
Meanwhile, actress Rose McGowan, who has been most vocal about Weinstein’s crimes, and who has been asking every Hollywood star to take responsibility, tweeted about Ben:
@benaffleck “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 10, 2017
The New York Times asked Rose McGowan if “she was asserting that Mr. Affleck knew about Mr. Weinstein’s mistreatment of her because she had told him, and that she was accusing Mr. Affleck of lying”. To which, the actress responded saying, “I am saying exactly that.”
It’s because of these enablers – mostly men, mostly family members, friends, or influential bosses – that sexual assault is brushed away under the carpet, allowing the man to get away with little to no retribution, while the woman loses her dignity, her opportunities, her health, her mental health. And then as a society we ask, five, 10, 15 years later, why no one reported sexual assault. It is because Ben could comment on Weinstein, and not his own brother, that we can glibly sit in our homes and offices and comment that we didn’t know, nobody knew, and if it was that serious, it would have come up earlier.