As further details of Harvey Weinstein’s abuse are revealed and Hollywood is forced to deal with the certainty that change is in the air, there has been a rush of celebrity condemnations of the disgraced producer that vary in tone, intent and detail. A lot of people will have to rethink some of their core beliefs and principles as decades of intimidation, misogyny, abuse and culpability in a toxic system become public news. It’s safe to say that a lot of men in the industry right now are shaking in their shoes, and it’s about bloody time.
On Tuesday, Ben Affleck released his statement condemning Weinstein, which opened the floodgates. On top of yet another ‘we must protect our daughters’ line, as if that’s the only way these men can humanise the women making the accusations (season 5 of BoJack Horseman will have a great running joke on this buzz-phrase, I’m sure), actress and TV presenter Hilarie Burton reminded the world of the time Affleck groped her on live TV.
I didn't forget.— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 10, 2017
While hosting MTV’s Total Request Live in 2003, Burton can be seen trying to laugh off a handsy Affleck wrapping his arm around her and fumbling at her breast. Any woman who’s ever experienced public harassment or the ‘locker room talk’ of friends/colleagues can attest to the instinctive urge to laugh it off in case people think you’re a bitch or a party pooper. Seeing it play out on TV with a major star somehow makes it sting even more.
Affleck apologised for this incident today, and boy, the sincerity and thought that went into this apology is staggering.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
Okay, one, screw you. Two, this is pathetic, even by the low curve of celebrity apologies. Three, you think this will be enough to satisfy anyone, much less Ms Burton, who now has to face a sea of angry DC fans who still don’t see the irony in being the worst fans ever while claiming they’re persecuted scrappy underdogs? Four, how’s Casey doing, Ben? Five, the DC fans screaming ‘Batman shouldn’t have to apologise’ in the replies can go suck a lemon. Six, Team Rose McGowan.