'Justice League's Ben Affleck Says He Knew Harvey Weinstein Was "Sleazy"
Last month, dozens of women in the entertainment industry came forward with stories about sexual [...]
Last month, dozens of women in the entertainment industry came forward with stories about sexual assault and sexual harassment at the hands of producer Harvey Weinstein, leading to him being forced out of his own company and potentially facing legal ramifications. Between his variety of appearances in support of Justice League, his own allegations of sexual misconduct and owing successes from early in his career to Weinstein, Ben Affleck has repeatedly been discussing the allegations, recently admitting to always knowing Weinstein was "sleazy."
"I knew he was sleazy and kind of a bully, but, unfortunately, that wasn't that uncommon," he shared on TODAY. "I was brand new to Hollywood, I was 24 years old, I had never made a movie, I didn't know much of anything, really. It really is a shame because, although I stopped working with Harvey a long time ago, those movies hold a special kind of place in my heart."
Weinstein's company Miramax financed Good Will Hunting, which Affleck co-wrote and co-starred in with Matt Damon, becoming the film that earned Affleck his first Oscar and catapulted his career.
"To now look back on them and think, 'Gosh, some other people were going through something really ugly and disturbing and difficult and terrible and terrifying,'" Affleck shared. "The only thing I can think to do is give my residuals from my Harvey movies to a couple of organizations that I think are making a difference and try to reconcile that. It's a way for me to feel better about that early stage of my career when I made those movies with him."
Affleck frequently collaborated with filmmaker Kevin Smith early in his career on films like Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith took a similar course of action by announcing that he was also donating his residuals to various organizations.
Shortly after the Weinstein allegations surfaced, Affleck took to social media to voice his support for the victims, leading to former MTV host Hilarie Burton recalling an incident in which Affleck allegedly groped her. He has apologized for his actions and stated that he aims to focus on self-reflection moving forward.
"There's plenty of jokes I wouldn't have made or things I wouldn't have done," the actor confessed of his past behavior. "Almost overnight, there's just a heightened level of awareness. And that means, one of the good things about that, is the self-consciousness of, 'How am I fitting into the world here? How are my actions affecting other people? How is this interaction gonna leave this person feeling?' It's easy to gloss over that stuff and get self-involved, the hard thing is, as I said, to be mindful and live in the present moment."
Affleck can currently be seen in Justice League, which is in theaters now.
[H/T YouTube, TODAY]0comments