Casey Affleck Withdraws as Oscar Presenter for Best Actress

Kevin Winter  Getty
Casey Affleck at the 89th Academy Awards

Kevin Winter Getty Casey Affleck at the 89th Academy Awards

Two women who worked on the hoax Joaquin Phoenix documentary, "I'm Still Here", which Affleck directed, accused him of verbally and physically harassing them during filming.

Brie Larson, who won the best actress award in 2016 for "Room", presented Affleck with his Oscar and had a noticeably muted reaction.

It has become an Oscar tradition for the best-actor victor from the previous year to present the best-actress victor the following year, and vice versa. That means Affleck would have been involved in a pivotal moment of the female winner's life...which, considering his past, is not exactly a great situation.

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An online petition calling for Affleck's removal from the upcoming Oscars ceremony received nearly 20,000 signatures. Affleck denied the allegations, and the lawsuits were eventually settled out of court. After his win, Affleck said to the Boston Globe about the resulting online backlash, "There's really nothing I can do about it".

Entertainment website Deadline, which first reported news of Casey Affleck's withdrawal, said it was told by "sources" that the actor "did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category and that is why he made the proactive move". The specter of Affleck presenting would have created controversy.

When he was presented with the Best Actor trophy a year ago, previous Oscar victor Brie Larson made her feelings clear by refusing to clap for him.

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A spokeswoman for Affleck, Mara Buxbaum, confirmed that Affleck would not be attending the Academy Awards ceremony this year, but declined further comment.

The 2018 Oscars will take place on 4 March in Los Angeles.

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