In December 2008, cinematographer Magdalena Górka and producer Amanda White agreed to work on a Casey Affleck-directed documentary that later became I’m Still Here. In 2010, each of the women sued Affleck, alleging he had sexually abused them verbally and physically during filming. The lawsuits were settled out of court.
It’s possible you’ve seen, read, and thoroughly considered the reminders of this that are popping up on blogs, with greater and greater frequency, as Affleck cruises toward award season, an Oscar front-runner for his work in Manchester by the Sea. But it seems safe to assume that a larger audience watched Casey Affleck host Saturday Night Live this weekend and only thought it was bizarre because he seems neither good nor funny and what is he even from again? Oh, right. The reviews of the episode from most widely read outlets reinforced the idea that Casey Affleck is a Hollywood star whose only negative mark is that he is maybe not that interesting.
Deadline said, “Casey Affleck’s guest-host performance on last night’s Saturday Night Live is in no danger of overshadowing his magnificent turn in the Oscar-leaning Manchester by the Sea, but he had his moments, none better than ‘Dunkin’ Donuts,’ a pre-taped short disguised as a commercial.”
The A.V. Club offered, “Let’s all just agree up front that Casey Affleck is an odd choice for an SNL host. Unlike big brother Ben, a Five Timers Club member whose big lunk goofiness lends itself more to the task, Casey’s the mumbly character man, his long history of supporting roles and arthouse leads not outwardly conducive to jumping into the sketch comedy deep end that is hosting Saturday Night Live.”
From Rolling Stone, “Unfortunately, while Affleck is a great actor, he wasn't a particularly great host.” And Entertainment Weekly: “But although he’s not exactly a Goodman, a Baldwin, or an Armisen, Affleck wasn’t half bad! He seemed a little over his head in some of the show’s sillier moments (like as a kinky elf in Santa’s workshop), but other sketches allowed him to shine, especially when he got to tap into his Bostonian roots as a Dunkin’ Donuts-obsessed psycho.”
It is an obvious and sad truth that reminders of the settled-out-of-court sexual assault lawsuits of famous and well-connected white men fall on uninterested ears. The United States of America elected a president with multiple sexual assault allegations against him, for instance, which feels newly insane each time you think about it no matter how many times you’ve thought about it before. It is enough to make you want to dig a hole in the ground and scream into it and then jump into the hole and lie in there until you become a skeleton.
However, if you are in a position to do it, no matter how futile it feels or perhaps simply is: It is worth bringing up Casey Affleck’s sexual assault allegations. Don’t talk about his Dunkin’ Donuts advertisement sketch, or whatever, like he’s goddamn Jennifer Lawrence or someone normal, and isn’t it funny to hear his Boston accent. (Don’t talk about those advertisement sketches at all, in my opinion, but that’s for another time.) White men with power and money are able to do whatever they want. This likely will not change for some time. They will silence the voices they can silence, and it is up to the rest of us to say, “Also this guy is an accused sex criminal.”
(Also do this for Woody Allen.)