Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017

Men must be accountable over harassment – Affleck


Ben Affleck has called on men to “hold themselves accountable” as Hollywood stars continue to face sexual misconduct allegations.

During an appearance on US talk show The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Thursday, the Oscar-winning actor admitted that he did not have a sense of “the scope of the problem” in the industry and described his relationship with producer Harvey Weinstein as “tainted”.

The 45-year-old was one of the first to comment when allegations surrounding the disgraced movie mogul first emerged in October, which has prompted alleged victims of other stars – including Kevin Spacey and Sylvester Stallone – to come forward.

The actor has now said he will donate his residuals from other Weinstein-backed films – such as Shakespeare In Love – to non-profit arts group Film Independent or RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual assault organisation.

Speaking about the wider scandal, Affleck – who worked with Weinstein on his breakout hit Good Will Hunting – said that men needed to be “really mindful” of their behaviour.


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He told Colbert: “I thought I had a sense of the scope of the problem and I thought I understood it, and the truth is I really didn’t.

“I didn’t understand what it’s like to be groped, to be harassed, to be interrupted, talked over, paid less, you know, pushed around, belittled. All the things that women deal with, that for me, as a man, I have the privilege of not having to deal with.

“It’s just the kind of thing we have to, as men, as we become more aware of this, be really, really mindful of our behaviour and hold ourselves accountable and say: ‘If I was ever part of the problem, I want to change. I want to be part of the solution.'”

He added that men must be prepared to face up to any “uncomfortable or awkward or strange encounters” that they may have had, rather than shy away from them.

JL
Image:
Ben Affleck stars in Justice League, his latest project

Last month, Affleck apologised over accusations he groped actress Hilarie Burton during a live music show when she was 21.

Afflect, who stars as Batman in Friday’s cinema release of Justice League, added: “I’m not a spokesman, I’m not a superhero, I can’t change it by myself. I can just be accountable for myself and for my actions.

“Part of this, for me, has been listening to people I really care about and love as they tell me stories of stuff that has happened to them – this is men and women – and recognising that it’s a real thing.”


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