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Brie Larson Did Not Try to Hide Her Disdain at Having to Give Alleged Sexual Abuser Casey Affleck His Oscar

The fact that Casey Affleck, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, won the Best Actor Oscar last night was a disappointment to many. Affleck may have given an award-deserving performance in Manchester By the Sea, but even for those people who don’t think an artist’s personal life should influence our view of them professionally (and we can talk about all the problems with that line of thinking, and why that reasoning didn’t, for whatever reason, *cough-racism-cough* end up applying to Nate Parker, another time), it needs to be noted that the charges against him came from his coworkers.

He allegedly harassed and/or assaulted a producer and a cinematographer on the set of his 2010 movie I’m Still Here. That means this is his professional life, as well as a personal matter, and it’s exceedingly disappointing that the Academy chose to overlook his vile actions, especially since they represent his relationship with his work. If you work for a company that has an anti-sexual harassment policy, it shouldn’t make sense to you that Casey Affleck is allowed to bring that behavior into his work and then get the acting equivalent of Employee of the Month.

So for those of us watching at home, there was a deep disappointment in hearing his name called. And from the looks of it, Brie Larson, who was the one who had to actually call his name, felt that disappointment and disgust just as strongly as the rest of us. Just look at her face as she reads his name.

The ever-vigilant viewers on Twitter did not let this moment go unnoticed.

And it wasn’t just Brie Larson who didn’t try to hide their disdain.

Larson also refused to applaud his win.

It’s worth a reminder that this isn’t the first time Brie Larson has had to hand Casey Affleck his Best Actor award. It’s tradition for last year’s Best Actress winner to present this category, which means she also had to announce Affleck’s win at the Golden Globes. Note the face:

Brie Larson, remember, won the award that led her to present this one by playing the victim of sexual violence in Room. She also starred in 2013’s heartbreaking Short Term 12, which deals with similar subject matter. During last year’s Oscars, Lady Gaga performed the song “‘Til It Happens to You,” which is about sexual assault, written for the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground. If you remember, Gaga was joined onstage by real-life victims of sexual assault, and following the performance, Larson stood to hug every one of those women.

To ignore Casey Affleck’s disturbing workplace behavior is bad enough. Presenter tradition or not, to make Brie Larson the voice of that celebration seems at best, oblivious, and at worst, downright cruel.


(image via Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.