Ben Affleck was already treading a fine line. When the New York Times pushed live on their explosive investigation into Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood blew the whistle on many other directors and actors with claims of sexual assault. Affleck at the time posted a tweet condemning Weinstein.
“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,” he wrote. “The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to other. 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 behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
The entire Twitter-verse – including a very vocal Rose McGowan – accused Affleck of hypocrisy. He did after all grope a television host’s breast in 2003, a video which can be viewed online today. Affleck fired back “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologise,” he tweeted.
Overnight, a video of the actor making a subtle joke about sexual harassment on film sets has emerged. In it, the cast of Justice League – Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa – are sitting alongside Affleck in a film junket. When the journalist asks which superhero they would like to join the JL crew, Affleck notes the need to bring more females into the group. Fair enough. But it’s the call afterwards that became uncomfortable. The journalist follows up and asks the cast what they would do if a character like SuperGirl joined the team, that is, with a new actress on set. Affleck laughs and responds “Are you following the news at all?” referencing Hollywood’s sexual assault headlines.
Silence ensues as Gadot awkwardly smiles while the rest of the cast look every bit stunned.
However it was meant, it didn’t go down well. From now, a Weinstein joke in a film junket will never be well-received. And it most certainly will never be funny.
Watch the awkward moment below.
— ً (@stormpiIott) November 13, 2017