Ben Affleck is out promoting Justice League, but it seems that all of the interviews start with the Harvey Weinstein allegations before getting into talking about the new movie. Affleck worked closely with Weinstein at the very beginning of his career and went on to have great success, but claims that he did not know of the full extent of these allegations until recently, after the New Yorker and New York Times launched back-to-back stories of women coming forward and sharing the experiences of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. One of the loudest voices to come forward has been actress Rose McGowan, who claims that Weinstein raped her and that Ben Affleck knew about it.
While appearing on the Today Show, Ben Affleck answered questions and shared that his once good memories have been tainted by Harvey Weinstein's despicable actions. The actor said that one of the best things that he could think of doing in light of this sensitive time in Hollywood is self-evaluate better as well as donate all of his future Weinstein earnings to charities. Affleck explains.
"Those movies hold a special place in my heart and to now look back on it and think, 'Gosh, some other people were going through something ugly and disturbing and terrible and terrifying while that was happening...' The only thing I could think to do was give my residuals from my Harvey movies to a couple of organizations that I think are making a difference and try to reconcile that and it's sort of a way for me to feel better about that early stage in my career when I made those movies with him."
Affleck has recently come under fire for groping a woman on live television during the time he was working for Weinstein, and has sparked even more controversy by making a joke about the whole situation during a recent interview. During this latest chat, Affleck faced Rose McGowan's claims head on. The interviewer asked Ben specifically about the allegations she confided in the actor, and told him Harvey Weinstein had raped her. Looking clearly uncomfortable, Affleck said that he did not want to get into specific stories, because he feels that they are "their stories." While Affleck did not at all get into specifics, he did say that he supports and believes McGowan's claims, that Weinstein sexually assaulted her. He had this to say.
"I don't really want to get into other people's individual stories because I feel like those are their stories and they're entitled to tell as much or as little of those as they want. I believe Rose. I support her. I really like and admire her tenacity and I wish her the best."
Ben Affleck most recently came under fire for a thoughtless joke about the current temperature in Hollywood right now when it comes to sexual harassment. He made the comments during a Justice League interview where the reporter asked what Supergirl and Cyborg might get up to in the sequel. Unable to read the room, Affleck blurted out, "You following the news at all?" This did not go over well with his co-stars, who were all seated next to him. Nor did it fly with many when it came time for the interview to go public, as the joke created a firestorm of controversy on social media. Affleck had this to say about the illy timed joke.
"There's plenty of jokes I wouldn't have made or things I wouldn't have done. It's a time when almost overnight there's almost a heightened level of awareness and one of the good things is a self-consciousness of, 'How am I fitting into the world here? How are my actions affecting other people? How is this interaction going to leave this person feeling?' It's easy to sort of gloss over that stuff and get self-involved. The hard thing is to really be mindful and live in the present moment."
These responses came just hours after Ben Affleck's appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the actor all but dismissed the fact that he groped a teenage Hilarie Burton, treating the incident as if it were some minor speedbump in his life. And just two days before that, Affleck had left his Justice League co-stars stunned when he shot off that joke mentioned above. This all comes amidst rumors that the actor is on his way out from the DC franchise ahead of the next movie, with Jake Gyllenhaal set to take over as the Caped Crusader.
Ben Affleck continues the Justice League promotional tour and will undoubtedly be asked in every interview about the Harvey Weinstein accusations and his own actions. The actor is supposed to play Bruce Wayne once more in Matt Reeves' The Batman, but the chances of that happening are becoming slimmer by the day, especially since reports have come out revealing that Jake Gyllenhaal is the director's first choice to take over for Affleck. Watch the Ben Affleck interview below, courtesy of The Today Show's YouTube channel.