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Casey Affleck and how Hollywood shores up white male privilege

(15 Posts)
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 27-Feb-17 16:49:09

I have been pondering this over the last couple of days: the fact that Casey Affleck was accused of sexual harassment by two women in 2010 and finally settled out of court, and the fact that this did not seem to dent his chances of winning the best actor Oscar as last night proved. And I have been reading the articles which compare his story to that of Nate Parker, a black actor and director charged with rape in 1999. He was found innocent (whether rightly so is another matter...) by a jury and acquitted. He had a film out this season as well which generated Oscar buzz but then the rape story resurfaced and his acclaim quickly evaporated. (More articulate summary here)

And it made me wonder why Hollywood is so keen to protect its own when it comes to accusations of sexual assault, abuse, rape, domestic violence - I'm thinking of Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, and now Casey Affleck (with the powerful Matt Damon/Ben Affleck team in his corner) - all of whom have been recognised by the Academy, whether by nomination or actually winning, subsequent to being accused/convicted of these crimes.

Is it that Hollywood is taking some kind of stand and saying that an artist is not required to live a morally blameless life to be talented and to be rewarded for that talent? And that we should overlook what they have done because it is not relevant to their art? Or is it simply that how these powerful men treat women just isn't very important in comparison to the money they bring in?

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 27-Feb-17 16:58:52

I think it's the second of those possible reasons. Money is the strongest motivator for these people, I believe.

If I had a vote, I don't think I could have decided to vote for Casey Affleck, even if I thought that his was the best performance. The things he was alleged to have done apparently don't seem to have alarmed or concerned anyone in the industry at all.

QueenoftheAndals Mon 27-Feb-17 17:03:41

Yes, and it shows the double standard when it comes to men vs women too. Man accused of sexually harassing two women wins Oscar, man accused of raping an underage girls wins Oscar. But Winona Ryder, talented woman who is THE young actress of the 90s and has so much promise shoplifts has her career destroyed for over a decade. Brie Larson's reaction when giving him the award, and her refusal to applaud Affleck, was commendable.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 27-Feb-17 18:01:32

Yes, I felt that she had been placed in a very awkward position as an advocate for sexual abuse victims. That is the second award she has had to give him and I feel her distaste was clear.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 27-Feb-17 22:40:20

I appreciated her distaste and that of the other people who had to stand with him for photos. Viola Davis looked fairly unimpressed too.

It's really not going to affect his career trajectory though, when it really should.

HelenDenver Tue 28-Feb-17 21:21:47

It should, yes.

Mner Tue 28-Feb-17 23:43:02

There was another article here on it as well that popped up on my Facebook feed.

SenseiWoo Wed 01-Mar-17 00:23:40

Nate Parker was acquitted. It is uncomfortable to me that so many people wanted him to be treated as though he were guilty despite this, but the same people seemed to see nothing wrong with a man who came to a settlement with his accusers being feted.

I think it boils down to status. Those who have enough of it, for whatever reason, escape responsibility and consequences.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 01-Mar-17 07:34:16

Absolutely yes to status. The reason Casey Affleck was in the film he won for in the first place was nepotism - it was produced by Matt Damon who turned down the role himself in favour of Affleck - and you can bet Hollywood knows which side it's on when it comes to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck versus two female members of a production team. Because that was the real contest - the older men cleaning up the younger man's mess.

It is encouraging to see that it hasn't been ignored online: there are a lot of articles condemning Affleck, but it's depressing to think that it won't make a blind bit of difference.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 01-Mar-17 07:35:51

Mner - I love the last paragraph of that article.

Mner Wed 01-Mar-17 19:11:32

It is good grin

Mner Wed 01-Mar-17 19:11:56

It's a shame as you say nothing will change

KickAssAngel Wed 01-Mar-17 19:18:32

I think it boils down to status. Those who have enough of it, for whatever reason, escape responsibility and consequences.

Yes to this. So true.

It's not just that those with status can use it to abuse the system, but that they're believed/respected more in the first place so that they don't even need to DO anything, it just kind of magically all works out for them. Then they believe that they are genuinely NOT using that status.

Status is established by money/color/power/family etc etc. The more cultural capital that a person has, the less they need to do to trade on it. They just get to drift on through life as if they neve pulled any strings etc.

KickAssAngel Wed 01-Mar-17 19:25:00

Another point: I really struggle when someone is a good/great artist but their personal life is something I really object to. e.g. Ernest Hemingway - great writer, crap attitude to women.

If I only supported creative people who lived a blameless life, then I would have almost no media/art/books etc to enjoy.

GatoradeMeBitch Wed 01-Mar-17 21:33:48

Hollywood is incredibly twisted. It's an open secret that a very successful producer assaults actresses, and recently a famous actress pretty much confirmed it. He's just one of many. Other directors/producers like to prey on men, and there are people working in the movie industry who prey on children.

An agent who represents child talent was put in prison for sexually assaulting some of his clients, then he came out of prison and went straight back in to his career... There are lots of sites that talk about this stuff - ones that actually provide receipts, not the CDAN type.

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