A little-known New York filmmaker has created an online petition seeking to prevent actor Casey Affleck from participating in next year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
Cameron Bossert’s Change.org petition says Affleck should not be allowed to take part in the awards show because of sexual harassment allegations made against him in 2010. As the winner of the 2017 best actor Oscar for “Manchester by the Sea,” Affleck would normally present the 2018 best actress Oscar.
“In light of the revelations that Harvey Weinstein has been sexually harassing and assaulting women for decades, the Academy Awards recently voted to strip Weinstein of his membership — but did you know that another accused sexual harasser is set to participate in the 2018 ceremony?” Bossert writes in the petition, which has been signed by 16,400 people.
Affleck was sued for sexual harrassment by two women who worked on “I’m Still Here,” the bizarre mockumentary Affleck made with Joaquin Phoenix. In the lawsuit, the women, cinematographer Magdalena Górka and producer Amanda White, alleged they were forced to endure debauched behavior during production of the movie, including “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace” and an impromptu shoot in a Las Vegas hotel room filled with prostitutes and and transvestites.
Affleck has denied the allegations and the case was eventually settled out of court, but the past harassment claim dogged the actor in the days and weeks leading up to last February’s Oscar ceremony, with some observers feeling that Academy voters had paid too little attention to the controversy.
Speaking to the Globe after he won the Oscar, Affleck said this: “I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else. There’s really nothing I can do about it. Other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”
Neither Bossert, who created the petition, nor Affleck’s rep could be reached Thursday. But Bossert has written this: “As a burgeoning film maker, I want to know that the industry I am entering respects and protects everyone, no matter their gender. Movies are better when made by a diverse crew – and that won’t happen if women keep getting harassed in at work.”