Hollywood is not standing for sexual harassment in the wake of the very serious accusations that have been brought against Harvey Weinstein. Ben Affleck, who worked with Weinstein early on during his career on movies like Good Will Hunting, recently released a statement condemning the man. However, One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton accused Affleck of groping her in 2003, which there is video evidence of. Now, Affleck has issued an apology for the incident. It may be too little, too late.
Ben Affleck took to Twitter to issue the apology after Hilarie Burton said that she "didn't forget" about an incident where he groped her breast on MTV's TRL. Actress Rose McGowan, who has been very outspoken against Harvey Weinstein, came to Burton's defense, telling Affleck to "f&*k off." Here's Affleck's apology from Twitter.
"I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize."
Since the sexual misconduct has been brought back to light, videos of Ben Affleck actually groping Hilarie Burton have resurfaced online as well. The actor/writer/director can clearly be seen groping her breast on TV. Even though he is apologizing now, this occurred more than a decade ago and, even an apology then wouldn't have made it right. So one now feels very much like trying to put out a fire. Somewhat ironically for Affleck, this all came about after he released a statement condemning Harvey Weinstein, whose actions have prompted many in Hollywood to take a stand against people who have committed sexual harassment in the past.
"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 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 others. 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."
Women like Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and others have come forward in the past week to condemn Harvey Weinstein, but that has prompted others to share stories of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. Hilarie Burton took to Twitter to say that she is "impressed" with those who have come forward and to share a video from TRL Uncensored, in which, she had to recount the incident with Ben Affleck and laugh it off. Here's what she had to say about it.
"Girls. I'm so impressed with you brave ones. I had to laugh back then so I wouldn't cry. Sending love."
It's doubtful that the fallout for Ben Affleck will be quite as severe, as his actions don't seem to be on the level of Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of rape and many acts of sexual harassment over the years. However, his actions are inexcusable and many people in Hollywood are making it clear that they aren't going to stand for this kind of behavior anymore. You can check out Ben Affleck's apology, as well as video of the incident and Hilary Burton's video, for yourself below.