It's been Oscar tradition since the awards show began that the presenter of the 'Best Female Actor' is the prior year's winner of 'Best Actor,' and vice versa for the presenting of the 'Best Actor' category. Though it seems Casey Affleck who won 'Best Actor' last year for his role in Manchester By The Sea will not only not be presenting the award, but he also will be avoiding the awards ceremony completely this season. Though, if you really think about it, you shouldn't be surprised.
Last Oscar season movie buffs and fans were stunned and upset that Affleck even won the Oscar last year, considering the allegations that were swarming him. Such allegations dating up to ten years ago, where a case involving two women who had worked on Affleck's project, I'm Still Here, filed sexual harassment claims against him. Both situations were settled outside of court, one victim receiving $2 million in settlement and the other getting $2.5 million.
The first accuser, Amanda White, claimed that Affleck told another member of the crew to flash his penis at her. She also noted that he constantly referred to women on set as "cows." As well she claims that Affleck had tried to get her to stay in a hotel room with him when she said no he tried to grab her. When she finally did get away, he sent her heated and abusive messages over text.
The second accuser was Magdalena Górka who recounted her experience with Affleck as a time when she woke up in the middle of the night to realize that he was in bed with her. She claims he had his arm around her and was caressing her back. His face was only inches away from her and she says she could smell the stench of alcohol on his breath. After she repeatedly asked him to leave, he finally got up and left, slamming the door angrily. She notes that she has no idea if and where he touched her while she was asleep.
It's clear that the allegations within both victim's stories are terrifying, and considering that the stories only grew bigger after he took the stage at the Oscars last year, it's clear why he would try to run and hide now. Especially considering the growth that #MeToo and #TimesUp have seen in the past few months.
While sexual predators and rapists in the business have long been able to escape any criticism that actually harms their careers or work, it seems that #MeToo and #TimesUp are movements that create a force to be reckoned with. Of course, Casey Affleck wants nothing to do with that so he's claiming to step down because he doesn't want to be a "distraction" on the biggest night in the movie business. Though let's be honest, he's a coward.
It's definitely tragic that Casey Affleck had to be the one to remove himself from the Oscars rather than the other way around, but we really don't know what happened in the background of that move. Maybe the Oscars "suggested" he step down so that his absence didn't fall into the hands of the Oscars but rather Affleck himself. Though, considering they did award him when the controversy was at it's highest during his campaigning for the award last year, we highly doubt it.