When Casey Affleck captured his first-ever Oscar on Sunday night for his performance in Manchester by the Sea, not everyone was applauding.
Many had objected to Affleck’s best actor nomination heading into the Academy Awards because of sexual harassment allegations against the star dating back to 2010. (Affleck has repeatedly denied the claims, and the lawsuit against him was settled out of court.) As he collected his prize at Sunday’s ceremony for his emotional performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s drama, online viewers took issue with his win and posted their criticisms via Twitter. Two days later, during an interview with his hometown paper, the Boston Globe, Affleck was asked about those sentiments and the backlash to his win.
Affleck “said both sides in the case are prohibited from commenting on the matter and none of the people who are condemning him online know what happened,” according to the Globe. But the actor added, “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. … There’s really nothing I can do about it. 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.”
Affleck did not make many comments about claims during awards season but did tell the New York Times last year through email, “It was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation — mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.”
In all, Manchester by the Sea earned six nominations and left the Oscars with two — Affleck’s best actor win, and best original screenplay for Lonergan.