Ben Affleck found himself part of a growing list of celebrities being accused of sexual harassment after a 2003 video of him groping a woman resurfaced. Now, The Accountant actor wants to be part of the solution to the widespread issue.
In an interview with the Associated Press on 5 November, the Justice League star explained how his own past actions have driven him to do his part to stop sexual abuse by "looking at my own behaviour and addressing that and making sure I'm part of the solution".
He was referencing the clip from 14 years ago in which he is seen grabbing the breast of then-MTV VJ Hilarie Burton during an appearance on Total Request Live. Affleck immediately posted an apology on Twitter acknowledging that he had "acted inappropriately".
The 45-year-old now believes that joint action is required to elicit change. "More women need to be pushed to power," he said, adding that sexual harassment has to become "a men's issue" as well, wherein they call out inappropriate treatment.
In another report, the Academy Award winner was also shamed for pulling a talk show host onto his lap before asking her to take off her top and reveal her "firm breasts". The woman, Canadian TV personality Anne-Marie Losique, later clarified that Affleck had not been sexually abusive in any way.
"I know that people like fishing for anything, but this is completely out of context. I would like this to not have any negative impact on him. I find it sad." Losique told The Hollywood Reporter. "This was for the camera. It was for a show I was producing, so I was not at all a victim.
"He never touched me in any improper way. He was very respectful," she added.
Prior to his own behaviour coming to light, Affleck has spoken out against Hollywood executive producer Harvey Weinstein who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault from over 60 women.
"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," the Argo star wrote. "The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick."