Casey Affleck won the Best Actor trophy at the Oscars last year, which means that, ordinarily, he would be presenting the Best Actress trophy at this year’s ceremony. Deadline is reporting, however, that Affleck has withdrawn from the ceremony, with sources saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction.” Affleck’s Oscar campaign last year was marked by accusations of sexual harassment on the set of his documentary I’m Still Here resurfacing in the news. Affleck settled the resulting lawsuits out of court, and refused to address the allegations during awards season. His Oscar chances were largely unaffected by the story, though his win spurred protests both verbal and nonverbal. The first two major awards gala of the year, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, have focused heavily on the Time’s Up initiative to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, and the widening #MeToo movement, which has empowered dozens of women and several men to come forward with their own survivor stories.
Casey Affleck. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images