They’re not having it. Constance Wu, Heather Matarazzo and other Hollywood stars took to social media to protest Casey Affleck’s Oscar nomination for Manchester By the Sea on Tuesday, January 24, in light of his troubled past.
“Men who sexually harass women 4 OSCAR!” Wu, 34, tweeted on Tuesday shortly after this year’s Oscar nominations were announced. “Bc good acting performance matters more than humanity, human integrity! Bc poor kid rly needs the help!”
Affleck, 41, the younger brother of Ben Affleck, was hit with two sexual harassment suits back in July 2010 by women who worked with him on his Joaquin Phoenix–focused documentary, I’m Still Here. The Gone Baby Gone star denied all allegations and settled the suits out of court.
In an October 2016 Variety cover story, the actor-filmmaker downplayed the lawsuits, telling the magazine, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond … I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be, because everybody has families and lives.”
On Tuesday, Wu called Affleck and the Hollywood community at large out for brushing aside the allegations in several more fiery tweets. “Boys! BUY ur way out of trouble by settling out of court!” she wrote sarcastically. “Just do a good acting job, thats all that matters! bc Art isn’t about humanity, right?”
The outspoken Fresh Off the Boat actress went one step further and shared a snippet of a conversation that she had with actor Peter Shinkoda. “Right, he’s not running for Prez,” she wrote in an extended rant. “He’s running for an award that honors a craft whose purpose is examining the dignity of the human experience & young women are deeply human. … the choices an awarding committee makes DOES increase the dignity of an award and brings to light to the pursuit our craft seeks to honor. It signifies said committee’s awareness of the harmful oversights it may have unknowingly participated in in the past, not repeat it and not to use it as an excuse to reinforce the industry’s gross and often hidden mistreatment of women. Art doesn’t exist for the sake of awards, but awards DO exist to honor all that art is trying to accomplish in life.”
Wu, who plays the mother in ABC’s hit sitcom about a Taiwanese American family, added that it is the industry’s responsibility to recognize humanity and not just talent. “So context matters,” she continued. “Because in acting, human life matters. It’s why art exists. I know it’s just an award but I guess I’m in this career, not for awards, but because the treatment of human life matters to me. So I stand the f–k up for it.”
The Princess Diaries’ Heather Matarazzo tweeted her support for Wu’s takedown, as did numerous other fans and celebs.