Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck, who had been scheduled to present the Academy Award for Best Actress at the upcoming Oscars, has withdrawn from the event, Mike Fleming Jr. reports on Deadline.
Affleck won the Oscar last year for Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea.” The Oscars tradition is for last year’s Best Actor winner to present Best Actress while last year’s Best Actress winner presents Best Actor.
“He has notified the Academy he will not be attending the event, sources said,” Fleming reports. “I’ve heard that Affleck did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category and that is why he made the proactive move. He was in a no-win situation, with all the attention surrounding the #MeToo movement. The specter of Affleck presenting would have created controversy.”
Controversy began swirling around Affleck soon after he won his Oscar last year, as a backlash was generated over sexual harassment allegations from several years earlier. As we reported previously, Affleck has denied the allegations, which stem from when he directed the 2010 mockumentary “I’m Still Here.”