"It's nice to be able to take the teeny tiny bit of experience that she and I have and use it to help other people get started", Affleck said.
Affleck told AP: 'First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret. "I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing and I didn't know how to handle it and I didn't agree with everything, the way I was being described, and the things that were said about me, but I wanted to try to make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time", he continued.
Although the lawsuits were settled out of court, Affleck's name in 2016 and 2017 became associated with a long list of men who have abused power in Hollywood. At the same time, he talked about "unprofessional behavior" on the I'm Still Here set as his responsibility, without defining in any respect what that behavior constituted. It is traditional for the past year's Best Actor (Affleck won for Manchester by the Sea) to present the Best Actress award, but Affleck declined to participate.
So it's more than a little surprising to read a new interview Affleck did with the AP, in which he finally addresses the allegations head-on.
I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment. "And having two incredible women go present the Best Actress award felt like the right thing".
Affleck seems to walk a tight line between not quite denying the claims made against him but also not admitting to them, while also insisting that he acted honorably and responsibly when it came to settling the two legal complaints, both of which asked for over two million dollars in punitive damages.
Affleck said he has learned a lot by listening to the public conversation on the topic.
Affleck described his on-set behavior as "unprofessional" to the AP, saying, "I kind of moved from a place of being defensive to one of a more mature point of view, trying to find my own culpability". "Once I did that, I discovered there was a lot to learn".
According to the actor, Affleck says he didn't think of himself as "the boss" while making I'm Still Here, an attitude he seemingly blames for the unclear boundaries that, as director and producer, he was ultimately responsible for setting. "I was one of the producers on the set".
"Well, I've taken these lessons with me that I've learned not just to work, but to home and as a dad, and it informs how you parent", he notes. "I have two boys so I want to be in a world where grown men model compassion and decency and also contrition when it's called for, and I certainly tell them to own their mistakes when they make them".
She said that later in the shoot Affleck 'attempted to manipulate [her] into staying in a hotel room with him, and when she resisted he grabbed her in a hostile manner in an effort to intimidate her into complying'.
"In this business women have been underrepresented and underpaid and objectified and diminished and humiliated and belittled in a bazillion ways and just generally had a mountain of grief thrown at them forever", he said.