Casey Affleck has withdrawn from this year's Oscars and will not present the Best Actress award, ET confirms.
ET has learned that Affleck notified the Academy that he would not be attending, as he did not want to be a distraction from the focus on the performances of the actresses in the category. Affleck's win last year caused controversy due to allegations of sexual harassment in his past. The allegations against Affleck stem from 2010 lawsuits filed by two women who worked with him on his controversial film starring Joaquin Phoenix, I'm Still Here. He has denied the claims and the suits were settled out of court.
ET has reached out to Affleck's rep.
Affleck won the Best Actor Oscar last year for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. Oscars tradition is that that the Best Actor winner from the previous year presents the Best Actress award, while the Best Actress winner presents Best Actor. Affleck's appearance at the Oscars would presumably have been an awkward one, given the current focus on the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up initiative.
Last March, 42-year-old Affleck broke his silence on the sexual harassment allegations against him.
"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 told TheBoston Globe. "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."
Last year, actress Brie Larson made headlines due to her refusal to clap after announcing Affleck's win.
"I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself," Larson later told Vanity Fair about her stoic reaction.