Oscar-winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan is defending actor Casey Affleck amid the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Lonergan, who wrote and directed the 2017 film “Manchester by the Sea” starring Affleck, was asked at the premiere party for “Howards End” on Wednesday if he thinks the star has been treated unfairly in the #MeToo era — and he agreed that he has.
“I couldn’t be more all for the #MeToo movement and I couldn’t feel more strongly that he’s been treated abominably. It’s not good for anybody,” Lonergan said, according to Variety.
Affleck, 42, who won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2017 for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” came under scrutiny after he settled two sexual harassment lawsuits for an undisclosed amount in 2010. The suits stemmed from his alleged behavior on the set of the 2010 film “I’m Still Here.”
Due to the backlash Affleck was facing, he decided to back out of presenting the Best Actress award at this year’s Academy Awards, which is standard tradition for the previous year’s Best Actor winner.
Lonergan also slammed those who felt Affleck didn’t deserve the Oscar because of his past behavior.
“People really don’t know what they are talking about, I’m afraid,” he said, according to Variety. “And I’m afraid they are doing it in the name of a very good cause.”
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
Lonergan previously fired back at a Wesleyan University student who wrote an op-ed piece slamming the director for casting Affleck in the film and praising him during award season.
Affleck, the younger brother of actor Ben Affleck, addressed the allegations following his Oscar win in an interview with the Boston Globe.
“I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else,” he said.
“There’s really nothing I can do about it,” Affleck told his hometown paper of the allegations. “Other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”