In an interview on NBC’s Today show, Ben Affleck spoke about the Harvey Weinstein claims, including what he knew about the disgraced movie mogul’s alleged inappropriate behavior, and how the growing harassment and assault scandal in Hollywood has caused him to reexamine his own actions.
As for Weinstein, when co-host Savannah Guthrie asked if he knew the “side of him” that allegedly harassed and assaulted more than 70 women over decades, Affleck said, “I knew he was sleazy and a bully, but unfortunately that wasn’t that uncommon. I was brand new to Hollywood; I was 24 years old; I had never made a movie. I didn’t know much of anything.”
And now looking back on films he made with Weinstein’s Miramax, including his breakthrough Oscar-winning movie, Good Will Hunting, Affleck said those memories have been tainted.
“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.”
Guthrie asked Affleck specifically about Rose McGowan’s tweet suggesting that Affleck knew of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct, but the Justice League star didn’t want to get into specific conversations.
“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,” he said. “I believe Rose. I support her. I really like and admire her tenacity and I wish her the best.”
In terms of reexamining his own behavior, Affleck, who himself has come under fire recently for inappropriate behavior in interviews, said, “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.”