Hammer said Parker was treated unfairly compared to Affleck during last year's Oscar cycle
Armie Hammer is walking back his comments calling out a “double standard” in the way Casey Affleck and Nate Parker were treated during last year’s Oscar cycle.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Casey and his family for my recent comments about him in my THR interview,” Hammer said in a statement obtained by EW. “Without knowing the facts about the civil lawsuits at issue (which I now understand were settled), I misspoke. I conflated sexual harassment cases with a criminal case involving sexual assault charges.”
Sexual misconduct allegations from both men’s pasts resurfaced last year. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last month, Hammer argued that Parker, with whom he starred in The Birth of a Nation, unfairly suffered a career-affecting backlash in comparison to Casey Affleck, who went on to win the best actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. “Nate had the stuff in his past, which is heinous and tough to get beyond. I get that,” he said. “But that was when he was 18, and now he’s in directors jail. At the same time, the guy who went and won an Academy Award has three cases of sexual assault against him.”
However, Affleck’s sexual misconduct suits were settled out of court, and no accusations of assault have been publicly made against him. He was sued in 2010 for sexual harassment by two women who worked on the film I’m Still Here; Affleck has denied the allegations. “It was settled to the satisfaction of all,” Affleck told the New York Times last year. “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.”
Parker, conversely, was accused of rape during his time at Penn State in 1999. He was acquitted in 2001, but another person involved in the alleged incident, his roommate Jean Celestin, was initially convicted. (The verdict was later overturned.) The alleged victim eventually dropped out of school and died by suicide in 2012. Parker apologized and expressed regret for his accuser’s death, but drew criticism for attempts to deflect attention from the topic. Hammer said the resurfacing of the allegations last year was “orchestrated for sure.” Parker’s film, The Birth of a Nation, earned a rapturous response out its January 2016 Sundance premiere and was expected to be a major Oscar contender; it received no nominations and was absent on the precursor circuit as well.
Hammer added in his statement regarding his THR interview that he did not mean to imply Affleck was involved in a smear campaign against Parker. “I also didn’t mean to insinuate, nor do I believe, that Casey or anyone from his camp had anything to do with leaked information that took place during the press for Birth of a Nation,” he said. “I respect Casey’s work, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson about the need to be more accurate with disseminating information, especially in this age of instantaneous, unchecked communication. While attempting to be part of the solution, I unintentionally made myself part of the problem, for which I am truly sorry.”
Hammer is currently eyeing his first Oscar nomination for his supporting turn in Call Me by Your Name, which has emerged as an across-the-board awards player this season; he’s already received corresponding nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards. He recently quit Twitter after calling Anne Helen Petersen, who wrote a piece critical of him for BuzzFeed, “Bitter AF.”
Read Hammer’s full apology below: