This past Sunday was the 89th annual Academy Awards and if you’re anything like me you tuned into the red carpet and the show to see all your favorite actors, actresses, directors, and other celebrities to see what they were wearing and what awards they would win. There were so many amazing movies this year and I felt that all of the awards were well deserved for the people who won them. However, the winner for Best Actor went to Casey Affleck and a lot of people, including me, had a problem with that.
If any of you saw Manchester by the Sea, I’m sure you all agreed that Casey Affleck did an amazing job. I never saw the film, but based on reviews and word of mouth, the youngest Affleck delivered an Oscar worthy performance. Of course, based on this fact alone, his win was valid and should be celebrated.
The big controversy behind this win is that Affleck had faced some pretty serious sexual assault charges in the past. According to Time Magazine, Affleck faced two sexual assault charges in 2010. One charge included inappropriate sexual advances on the set of the film I’m Still Here, which was directed and written by Affleck himself. In this case, Affleck had been accused of climbing into bed with a woman working on the film and made unwarranted advances at her. The second case included another woman who claimed that he had intimidated her into sleeping with him. Both women also noted that Affleck had verbally abused them by patronizing their talents and abilities and being violently misogynistic. The situation was so severe that the women had to quit his project and Affleck was sued for approximately $2 million dollars for each case.
Some of you may be wondering why an issue from seven years ago should effect his winning an Oscar this past Sunday. If you’re asking this question, you need to think about what kind of message this is sending to our society.
Not only did the justice system not put Affleck away for his sexual assault charges at all, but we as a society are also CONDONING AND AWARDING a man who has used of his power in the film industry to take advantage of women in the field. Awarding Affleck for his role in Manchester by the Sea this Oscar season sent a message that even though this man is a sexual predator he can still achieve one of the highest awards an actor receive in his career.
This relates directly to the electing of our president Donald Trump. In the midst of his campaign, Trump had multiple sexual assault charges against and he STILL BECAME PRESIDENT. If we continue to send the message that men can achieve high-ranking awards and LEAD OUR COUNTRY without facing any jail time or serious consequences, sexual assault will become more normalized and less serious to society.
So instead of congratulating Casey Affleck on his win this past Sunday, we should be questioning why America has repeatedly allowed sexual predators, like Affleck and Trump, not only walk among us freely, but also succeed so tremendously.
**You can find the full court complaints at this link: http://time.com/4645846/what-to-know-about-the-casey-affleck-oscar-controversy/ this was also the source I used to back this blog post**