Casey Affleck will be sitting out this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
A rep for the actor confirmed to EW that Affleck will not be attending this year’s event in March. Affleck won the Oscar for best actor last year for his role in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, and traditionally, the previous year’s best actor winner returns to present the best actress category.
Affleck’s win came under fire after accusations resurfaced regarding alleged misconduct on the set of his film I’m Still Here. Two women who worked on the film filed sexual harassment lawsuits against him in 2010. The claims were settled out of court, and Affleck has consistently denied the allegations.
In the midst of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, the allegations against Affleck have come under increased scrutiny. Deadline, which first reported Affleck’s withdrawal, wrote that the actor didn’t want his presence at the ceremony to distract from the nominees.
A spokesperson for the Academy told EW in a statement, “We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year.”
The Oscars will take place March 4.