Casey Affleck Oscar Win: Why It Matters for Women

Casey Affleck took home an Oscar on Sunday for his performance in "Manchester by the Sea," but more than his less-than-inspiring thank you speech, most people noticed that Brie Larson, the actress who announced him winner refused to clap for his performance.

While she didn't seem to be contesting the quality of his acting talents - after all, he is the son of another Oscar winner, Ben Affleck - the quiet outrage on Larson's part came from the fact that in 2010, the younger Affleck was sued for sexual harassment by two different women.

As the Huffington Post pointed out, sexual harassment, in any form or setting is unacceptable. Affleck's cases, in particular, were brought against him by co-workers, meaning that this happened in what is supposed to be a professional setting, and therefore pertains directly to how his career remains unaffected despite these claims against him.

Of course, there is the case of being innocent until proven guilty, and many defended Affleck's case, asking "what if" those allegations were false. However, the case did not go to court and was settled years ago, with all parties barred from ever commenting on any public forum regarding what actually went down, which means that the truth will be buried with them in their graves.

But should this allegations matter, and should Affleck's career ever be affected by it? Maybe. A member of the London Critics Circle told Metro UK that an award or review of a performance does not say anything about how a person lives his life, and is in no way a sign of approval, either. Filmmaking is not a personality contest, so actors should be judged by their performance, not their personality.

Women usually don't make false claims about harassment in the workplace - once reported to Human Resources, they are interrogated, shamed, and even retaliated against, which usually leads them to regret false claims, if any at all. For any woman who ever had to experience putting forward harassment allegations, the fact that Affleck came back with a better career showed the double standard, not only in the entertainment business, but in the work setting as a whole.

But then, Affleck back then was married actress Summer Phoenix, whose brother is the talented Joaquin Phoenix. He is the younger brother of Ben Affleck. Matt Damon, another talented and respected actor, is his childhood friend who lived down the block. It's a tight-knit circle of successful, influential people who can manipulate media and the public - and the younger Afflect is in the position to downplay what would have been a career-ending scandal put forward by women in the workplace.

So does Casey Affleck's Oscar win matter?

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