academy awards 2017

Casey Affleck Wins Again

Casey Affleck. Photo: 2017 Getty Images

As expected, Casey Affleck won Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance as a grief-stricken New England handyman in Manchester by the Sea. He won at almost every awards ceremony leading up to the Oscars — the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the National Board of Review, and the Independent Spirit Awards, among others — so his recognition tonight felt like a foregone conclusion. Denzel Washington bested Affleck at the SAG Awards in January, but no other actor seriously threatened Affleck’s Oscars victory throughout awards’ season. In his acceptance speech tonight, an emotional Affleck thanked Washington for teaching him “how to act.”

Throughout Affleck’s Oscar campaign, several outlets including the Cut resurfaced his alleged history of sexual harassment. Some critics questioned whether these allegations would threaten Affleck’s Oscar chances, but ultimately, his past did not come back to haunt him. To recap: In 2010, two women who worked for Affleck on the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here accused Affleck of verbal and physical harassment. Affleck vehemently denied the claims, threatened to countersue, and ultimately settled with both women for undisclosed amounts. He told the New York Times last year, “It was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it.”

Tonight, Affleck thanked his older brother Ben and his childhood friend Matt Damon for supporting him throughout his career. (Damon produced Manchester by the Sea.) “I’m really proud to be a part of this community,” Affleck said. “I’m just dumbfounded that I’m included.”

Casey Affleck Wins Again