Kenneth Lonergan: Casey Affleck was ‘treated abominably’ in the wake of #MeToo

The 69th Annual Director Guild Awards - Press Room

I keep seeing the ads for Kenneth Lonergan’s new Starz miniseries, which is an adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Howards End. I think it looks amazing, but I will always have a soft spot for overwrought British period dramas. The Howards End series is what Lonergan was promoting this week, when he was asked about Casey Affleck, Time’s Up and #MeToo. Lonergan wrote and directed Manchester By the Sea, the film which ended up winning Casey the Best Actor Oscar. Casey largely managed to conduct his Oscar campaign without being asked many direct questions about the two women who accused him of sexual harassment, or the fact that he settled out of court with both women – you can read a good piece about what those two women actually accused Casey of here at the Daily Beast. Well, Lonergan has some thoughts and those thoughts are garbage.

With Time’s Up and #MeToo continuing to dominate the public conversation and headlines, Oscar-winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan is defending “Manchester by the Sea” star Casey Affleck, who has been the subject of backlash over previous allegations made against him. The 2017 best actor Oscar winner was hit with two sexual harassment lawsuits by women who worked with him on his film “I’m Still Here” in 2010. That same year, he settled both suits out of court for an undisclosed amount.

When asked if he felt Affleck was treated unfairly in the wake of #MeToo, Lonergan responded, “I couldn’t be more all for the #MeToo movement and I couldn’t feel more strongly that he’s been treated abominably. It’s not good for anybody.”

In the wake of the controversy, the Oscars broke tradition after Affleck opted out of presenting the best female actress award. He was replaced by Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster.

As for Affleck’s opponents who fault the Academy for honoring him with an Oscar in the first place, Lonergan said, “People really don’t know what they are talking about, I’m afraid.” He added, “And I’m afraid they are doing it in the name of a very good cause.”

[From Variety]

Here’s the thing: maybe there was some sort of misunderstanding with Casey and the two women at various points, and maybe it’s none of our business now that he settled with both women. But the fact of the matter is that Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t “know” either. I’m sure he’s heard Casey’s version, but it’s more likely that Lonergan didn’t even press Casey Affleck for any kind of details. Lonergan has just made up his mind based solely on the cult of white manhood that Casey’s two victims are liars and that Casey is innocent, misunderstood and the real victim here because he’s been “treated abominably.” Yes, Casey was treated so abominably that he… won an Oscar and made the choice not to present at this year’s Oscars. Light a candle for Poor Casey.

Then Lonergan has the audacity to patronize all of us and minimize Casey’s actions with “People really don’t know what they are talking about, I’m afraid.” Bitch, do YOU know? WERE YOU THERE? Let me guess: no, you weren’t there, and you haven’t talked to Casey’s victims about what they experienced. You just made up your mind that Casey is a Good Dude. Because, again, that’s the cult of white manhood. White privilege, toxic masculinity. A–hole. F–k your Howards End. Now I’m not watching it.

89th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars)

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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39 Responses to “Kenneth Lonergan: Casey Affleck was ‘treated abominably’ in the wake of #MeToo”

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  1. Jay says:

    “I love Me Too until you f—king wh-res come for me and my friends!!!”

    There I fixed it for him.

  2. Maum says:

    So basically he’s saying he’ll only accept #Metoo if it doesn’t accuse someone he knows and likes.
    How very Lena Dunham of him.

    • Sara says:

      OMG more oppressed white men whining about people holding them accountable for their shitty actions. If I could roll my eyes hard enough they would fall out of my head and burst into flames.

  3. Pedro45 says:

    That’s so disappointing. You Can Count on Me is one of my favorite movies. Laura Linney was robbed of the Oscar that year.

    • Kitten says:

      Best movie ever.

      • Shappalled says:

        You should watch more movies.

      • Juls says:

        Shappalled, it’s difficult to decipher tone and intent from written word, so I can’t tell for sure if your response is friendly ribbing or simply rude. So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I thing the Shawshank Redemption is the “best movie ever” but I’m not gonna go after Kitten if she disagrees (she’s one of my favorite posters here). Happy Friday!

      • Kitten says:

        Happy Friday, Juls!

        Don’t worry about Shappalled.
        She’s probably still angry because I told her to smoke a bowl or three on another thread.

        My advice still stands.

      • Juls says:

        Ah, I remember reading that comment, Kitten, and thought it was hilarious! It appears Shappalled took offense and has held a grudge. She should have followed your advice, as that would be healthier than stewing over it. Cheers!

      • SCF says:

        Or she didn’t agree with Kitten’s claim that You Can Count on Me was the best movie ever.

  4. SilverUnicorn says:

    What’s the matter with some of these people??? We are in the 21st century and we still have to hear this medieval, bigoted drivel!

    I hope one day we will finally hear the majority of people supporting the victims instead of the abusers/rapists/assaulters!

  5. Merritt says:

    Typical white male. All for progress and justice until it comes after him or his friends. This dude is cancelled too. I had thought about watching the Howard’s End series, but I will pass now.

  6. HK9 says:

    I made the mistake of reading an article that had an account of what Casey did to one of his victims. It made me sick. After that I can safely say that the only one who doesn’t know shit is Kenneth.

  7. Margo S. says:

    LMAO! Preach Kaiser!

    • smcollins says:

      Yes! I could actually feel her anger building through the beginning of the write-up to the end!

  8. Lizzie says:

    this isn’t surprising coming from a man who made his bones writing “white working class hero who is a sucky asshole but you just don’t understand their pain” porn

    the movie of howard’s end is exquisite – you should watch it instead

  9. NoShame says:

    Ugh, to these dudes and their toxic white man privilege. How was Affleck treated horribly? He WON AN OSCAR!!!! And he got to skate through six months of press interviews without any discomfort. He was treated the opposite of abominably. Compare that to the women who apparently have to answer for all of Harvey Weinstein’s misdeeds or those who have worked with Woody Allen. None of those women actually assaulted anyone. Wait until the women who work with Affleck get punished for working with Affleck. Because you know that’s coming.

    • JosieH says:

      To be fair, Kobe Bryant seemed to enjoy that very same white man privilege. He skated by just as easily as Affleck, and he did it AFTER #MeToo came about.

    • M says:

      I’m going through a drawn out breakup with a very good man and it’s been interesting to me to see how his privilege issues play out there without him even seeing it. That same urge to be like “This man is being TORTURED!!” because he’s got some negative press and needs to answer for his actions is such a mirror for the private life “I know that my behavior lead to the end of our relationship but I need you to talk me down and comfort me because this is AWFUL!”. It really has me reflecting on how much of a disservice we to to ourselves as a society by not helping boys and men develop a connection with their feelings. So many of these dudes seem to have zero emotional resilience.

  10. boredblond says:

    Mistreated?! He’s got 2 films due out this year and five new projects..oh brother..

  11. Mia4s says:

    Reading between the lines, and given that this response is awfully dramatic for “couldn’t present at the Oscars”, I’m vaguely hopeful this means some of Affleck’s new projects are running into trouble. Likely some trepidation for funders and distributors? It would be lovely if his directorial debut got dumped. He’s also supposed to be in Alfonso Curaon’s Netflix series but I could see Netflix being worried post-Spacey.

    Probably none of this is the case…but it would be nice.

    • Bridget says:

      Netflix has shown that it’s pretty rotten on the inside. Think about how long it took them to boot Danny Masterson. I don’t have high hopes there.

  12. Suzanne says:

    I like your point that he can’t comment on this being unfair to CA as he wasn’t there and hasn’t spoken to all involved. He shouldn’t be commenting publicly at all. White males eh!

  13. Livvers says:

    This is one of those times when the choice to refer to women as “people” is used to obscure the actual meaning of a statement. When he says “People really don’t know what they are talking about, I’m afraid,” referring to “Affleck’s opponents,” his specific meaning is “Women really don’t know what they are talking about, I’m afraid.” Or maybe, to be charitable to this dummy, “those women,” which frankly doesn’t improve that comment in the slightest in my opinion.

  14. teegirl says:

    LOL at this idiot. I’m sure if either of Casey’s victims were a friend of Lonergan’s, he’d be singing a different tune. More proof that men don’t really care about women being victimized… only if it’s a woman that they know personally. More evidence that Hollywood will never fully get rid of the Affleck brothers. They’ll continue to get chance after chance. Ben currently is working with JC Chandor FFS.

  15. Georgia says:

    You won’t be missing much from not watching Howard ‘S End. It was not a good adaptation, I think. I didn’t enjoy it, even though the cast is great and I wanted to love it.

  16. Mimi says:

    Awwww! Poor little casey! How dare those women not want to be sexually harassed by the younger Affleck. What is the world coming to?

  17. K says:

    Isn’t his Broadway play being touted as woke because it exposes the dangers of “toxic masculinity “? Funny, coming from a guy that thinks Casey was the victim of his own sexual harassment

  18. paranormalgirl says:

    Dammit, Lonergan. I liked your movies.

  19. Bridget says:

    But he WASN’T treated abominably. Casey Affleck used his connections to silence all questions of this incident. He got to skate through his awards season pretending that this didn’t hang over his head and only answered questions once and vaguely. The worst thing that happened was that he couldn’t present the next year. But it turns out, even if you try to hide this stuff finds you. I have no sympathy. And I already dislike Lonergan’s work anyhow. Why the hell did he remake Howard’s End?

  20. Lydia says:

    Not watching now.

  21. Pandy says:

    Light a candle …. Best line today!

  22. Ally says:

    He should be pissed that his comeback movie got saddled with a sexual harasser (thanks, Matt Damon), not peevishly patronizing the victims and their defenders.

    I would think that as much as the male writing-directing-producing class sympathizes with the poor oppressed abusive pervs, the inevitable hit on publicity, ticket sales and royalties is leading to their non-casting these days, thank goodness.