When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke late last week and the cascade of statements from celebs who worked with and for the disgraced indie mogul began, it was reasonable to wonder whether Ben Affleck was going to weigh in. After all, he was (for all intents and purposes) one of Miramax’s equivalents to the contract players of the old studio system; in addition to appearing in the Miramax releases Chasing Amy, Phantoms, Shakespeare in Love, Reindeer Games, Bounce, Daddy and Them, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Third Wheel, and Jersey Girl, the company produced Good Will Hunting, his breakthrough effort as both an actor and writer. (His feature directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, was also a Miramax release, albeit one made after the Weinsteins left Miramax to form The Weinstein Company.)
So this is an actor who, in many ways, owes his career to Harvey Weinstein – and thus, a condemnation would carry considerable weight. Trouble is, Affleck’s got this brother, see, and one with his own troubling history of sexual misconduct allegations. So if he spoke out against Weinstein, he’d have to deal with that too, right?
Yeah, not so much. Yesterday, Affleck cross-posted a statement to his Facebook and Twitter accounts, in which he wrote, “I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” noting that he finds himself “asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others,” avoiding the obvious answer (Keep them away from my brother). He concludes, “We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power,” and that “support those who come forward” part is proving kinda sticky for the actor, now that women are coming forward with stories of Affleck’s unwanted advances.
Shortly after Affleck issued his statement, writer Shanice Brim noted on Twitter, “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.” Burton, currently a co-star on Fox’s Lethal Weapon who was then an MTV VJ, then piped in:
And, of course, there was video:
Today, Affleck responded with a terse apology:
And shortly thereafter, make-up artist Annamarie Tendler tweeted a story of her own:
And on top of all that, a video is making the rounds of a seemingly drunken Affleck, during the Jersey Girl press tour, ogling Canadian TV personality Anne-Marie Losique:
For her part, Losique has insisted his pawing was a bit. “This was for the camera,” she told THR. “You have to understand that we have done dozens and dozens of interviews like that. It was for a show I was producing, so I was not at all a victim. When the cameras rolled, we would start to do that game. As soon as it stopped rolling, there was none of that. He never touched me in any improper way. He was very respectful, I must say.”
Either way, point is, maybe Ben should’ve made himself busy with some Justice League reshoots rather than throw in his two cents on Harvey.