Wednesday 21 August 2019

Ben Affleck quizzed on own behaviour amid Harvey Weinstein scandal

The Justice League star said he was going to donate his residuals from Weinstein-backed movies.

Harvey Weinstein allegations
Harvey Weinstein allegations

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Ben Affleck has called for men to be more accountable as he was grilled about the scandal surrounding the man who launched his career, Harvey Weinstein.

The Oscar-winning actor was one of the first to comment on Weinstein when allegations surrounding the producer first emerged in October.

Speaking about the wider scandal since the story first broke – including his own behaviour towards women, which has been called into question – Affleck, 45, said: “I thought I had a sense of the scope of the problem and I thought I understood it, and the truth is I really didn’t.

“I didn’t understand what it’s like to be groped, to be harassed, to be interrupted, talked over, paid less, you know, pushed around, belittled. All the things that women deal with, that for me, as a man, I have the privilege of not having to deal with,” he said during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the US.

He added: “It’s just the kind of thing we have to, as men, as we become more aware of this, be really, really mindful of our behaviour and hold ourselves accountable and say ‘If I was ever part of the problem, I want to change. I want to be part of the solution.’

“And to not shy away from these uncomfortable or awkward or strange encounters that we might have had.”

Affleck worked with Weinstein on Good Will Hunting, the film that kick-started his and Matt Damon’s careers, but said his association with the former Miramax boss had now been “tainted”.

“It was awful to see the extent of these terrible crimes. I haven’t worked for Harvey for more than 15 years,’ he said.

The Justice League star said he was going to donate his residuals from Weinstein-backed movies – which includes Oscar-winning Shakespeare In Love – to Film Independent or women’s organisation RAINN.

He added: “Part of this, for me, has been listening to people I really care about and love as they tell me stories of stuff that has happened to them -this is men and women – and recognising that it’s a real thing.

“I’m not a spokesman, I’m not a superhero, I can’t change it by myself. I can just be accountable for myself and for my actions.”

PA Media

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