Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will announce the Best Lead Actress award at the 2018 Oscars instead of last year’s Best Actor winner, Casey Affleck, who turned down the opportunity amid sexual misconduct allegations.
It’s an Oscars tradition for the previous year’s Best Actor winner to present the Best Actress award but Affleck, who won the Academy Award in 2017 for his role in Manchester by the Sea, decided to withdraw in an attempt to avoid creating controversy after he was accused by two women of sexual harassment. Instead, Variety reports, Oscar winners Lawrence and Foster will do the honors.
As previously reported, Affleck is facing two lawsuits after his accusers alleged that he harassed them while working on 2010’s I’m Still Here. According to Time, one of the women claimed that Affleck crawled into bed with her while she was asleep, while the other asserted that he pressured her to stay in the hotel room and “violently grabbed [her] arm in an effort to intimidate her into staying” after she refused. The actor has denied the allegations and called the lawsuits “extortion.”
“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,” Affleck, 42, told the Boston Globe in February 2017. “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.”
The past few months have seen a torrent of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood. After disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused by many actresses including Rose McGowan and Angelina Jolie of assault, other women came forward to open up about their experiences being harassed. This led to the formation of the Time’s Up movement, which aims to provide support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace. Many celebrities took their message of solidarity to the red carpet at the Golden Globes in January, where they wore black.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 2018 Oscars air on ABC on Sunday, March 4, at 8 p.m. ET.
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