In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, the constant question everybody’s asking is: who knew what, and when?
Actress Rose McGowan, who has become a champion voice in this whole debacle, has been naming and shaming Hollywood dudes she says knew of Weinstein’s transgressions, which allegedly spanned decades.
[She was named in the NY Times exposé as having reached a settlement with Weinstein in the late 1990s, after an “incident” in a hotel room.]
Two of those she called out were long-time duo Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who have worked extensively with Weinstein in the past.
After several days, both men have finally issued statements about the controversy. Damon’s denied he helped kill a previous investigation into Weinstein, and Affleck’s offered vague platitudes of encouraging people to call out this behaviour.
“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” said Affleck. “The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick.”
He said that the allegations had made him asking what he, personally, Ben Affleck, could do to help prevent this kind of thing.
“We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
It’s all a very nice sentiment that doesn’t actually say a lot, and this piss-poor effort has been rightly called out.
But as many people have pointed out, there’s one person he’d be better off saying these kind of platitudes to: his brother, Casey Affleck, who has settled two claims of sexual harassment out of court.
Dude. Google your brother.
— Dan Telfer (@dantelfer) October 10, 2017
WHAT ABOUT CASEY, BEN? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY TO CASEY?
— Sea Monster™️ (@deangelis28) October 10, 2017
As a first step, maybe try talking to your brother.
— Tina (@girlinseattle) October 10, 2017
this doesn’t mean shit when you’ve protected your own brother’s predatory behavior.
— leïla (@stoneybrd) October 10, 2017
Of course, sexual harassment claims didn’t prevent Casey Affleck from picking up a Best Actor Oscar in 2017, just like it didn’t prevent Harvey Weinstein from continuing to work as a power player in Hollywood, or Donald Trump from becoming President.
But right now, the entire Hollywood industry is looking around at the power structures that have enabled this kind of predatory behaviour, not just from Weinstein but from others, and asking how they can dismantle it. Weinstein has been fired from his own company. That’s a powerful first step.