Actor appeared on Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' last night
Ben Affleck appeared on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last night (November 16), discussing the Harvey Weinstein scandal and addressing his own alleged sexual misconduct.
Affleck was recently criticised for his response to the Harvey Weinstein rape and sexual harassment allegations, with Rose McGowan accusing Affleck of lying about having no knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged actions.
The actor has also been accused of groping actress Hilarie Burton during a TV interview in 2003. In response, Affleck apologised for acting “inappropriately” towards Burton.
Appearing on Colbert’s late-night talk show, Affleck addressed his previous working relationship with Weinstein, whose Miramax company distributed many of Affleck’s early films, including Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare In Love and Chasing Amy.
“It was awful to see the extent of these terrible crimes and it was hideous,” Affleck said, clarifying that he hasn’t worked with Weinstein “for more than 15 years”.
He went on to say that his early movies had been “sort of tainted” due to the scandal. Affleck expressed sympathy that “while we were making these movies, there were people suffering and dealing with awful experiences”.
The actor said that he would be giving the residual payments from his Miramax movies to anti-sexual assault organisation RAINN and arts non-profit Film Independent.
Addressing Burton’s allegations, Affleck said: “I don’t remember it but I absolutely apologise for it. I certainly don’t think she’s lying or making it up.”
He then called on men to be more “mindful about our behaviour” and to “hold ourselves accountable” and be part of the solution rather than the problem.
“I think the most important thing to do is to support the voices that are coming forward, believe them and create a business where more women are empowered and in place so less of this happens,” Affleck added. “There [should be] a way of reporting this stuff so people feel safe.”
“I thought I had a sense of the scope of the problem and I thought I understood it,” he continued. “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, 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.”
“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. You know, recognising that it’s a real thing. I’m not a spokesperson, I’m not a superhero, I can’t change it by myself. I can just be accountable for myself and for my actions.”
Affleck also addressed a controversial recent MTV interview that saw him accused of making a joke about sexual misconduct. Watch that incident in the clip below.
“I just did an interview where somebody asked me a question,” he told Colbert. “It was a serious question and I didn’t know what to say. I felt uncomfortable and laughed awkwardly. It’s just a tricky thing to try and handle.”
Affleck stars as Batman in the new Justice League movie, which has received less than favourable reviews from critics.