Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster presented this year’s best actress award at the 2018 Oscars instead of Casey Affleck, last year’s best actor winner. Sources including Affleck’s personal rep confirmed earlier this year that, in a break from Academy tradition, the locally born “Manchester by the Sea” star would not take the stage, a decision almost certainly made in light of extensive sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.
When Affleck was out on the awards trail last year for “Manchester,” allegations made against him in 2010 in the form of sexual harassment lawsuits resurfaced, leading to widespread outcry against the actor’s candidacy for the honor. The lawsuits, from two women who worked with Affleck on his film “I’m Still Here,” were eventually settled out of court.
Though he went on to win the Oscar, it’s unsurprising that - especially in the age of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #NeverAgain, not to mention in an industry that’s successfully purged alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein (the same producer who guided another Affleck brother to fame with “Good Will Hunting” in the ‘90s) from its ranks - the actor was not welcomed back as a presenter this year.
Lawrence, meanwhile, is a major figure in the #MeToo movement who’s spoken out powerfully against sexual misconduct in Hollywood. And Foster is an household-name actress who’s pioneered progress for women both behind and in front of the camera. That they filled Affleck’s slot this year rings of a long-delayed justice served - if only partially.