“Call Me By Your Name” star Armie Hammer is apologizing after calling out Hollywood’s “double standard” when it comes to Casey Affleck and director Nate Parker.
“It’s like there are two standards,” he previously told The Hollywood Reporter, gracing the cover of an issue in November. Hammer starred in Parker’s one-time awards hopeful “The Birth Of The Nation”, which earned raves after its debut at Sundance. But the film quickly faced controversy when a past rape allegation against Parker, from when he was 18-years-old, and the film’s writer surfaced. The backlash against the movie was swift and Parker was effectively put in “director’s jail” according to Hammer, who believed the timing of the headlines over the 1999 allegation “was orchestrated for sure.”
“There was another person in the industry, who had a competing film for the Academy Awards, who decided to release all of the phone records and information. I’ve been told who did it – by several people,” Hammer said, refusing to name names but citing a double standard that saw Casey Affleck (who was accused of sexual harassment by two women in 2010) be awarded with the Oscar for Best Actor that same year.
“Nate had the stuff in his past, which is heinous and tough to get beyond. I get that,” Hammer told THR. “But that was when he was 18, and now he’s in directors jail. At the same time, the guy who went and won an Academy Award has three cases of sexual assault against him.”
Affleck had two civil suits filed against him from female crew members on the set of “I’m Still Here”, which were both settled out of court and dismissed. Parker was accused of the gang rape of an intoxicated woman who, in 2012, took her own life. Parker was acquitted but Jean Celestin, his Penn State roommate and “The Birth Of A Nation” screenwriter, was sentenced to six months in prison.
“[Parker] had one incident – which was heinous and atrocious – but his entire life is affected in the worst possible way. And the other guy won the highest award you can get as an actor. It just doesn’t make sense,” Hammer stated, never directly mentioning Affleck by name. “I’m not saying Nate should not have been in trouble. I’m saying that they got in different levels of trouble. And that’s the disparity. It’s like there are two standards for how to deal with someone who has this kind of issue in their past, you know?”
Since “The Birth Of A Nation” was effectively shut-out of awards season, Hammer ended up watching the Academy Awards on the couch at home. Earning buzz for his role in “Call Me By Your Name”, he is also one of the record 774 new members the Academy welcomed this year.
“I always open my mouth too much, but f*** it,” he said of joining the Academy. “I think I got accepted into the Academy largely because of the way the ‘Birth of a Nation’ thing was handled.”
In a new statement published by Entertainment Weekly, Hammer took back his comments about Affleck.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Casey and his family for my recent comments about him in my THR interview,” Hammer said. “Without knowing the facts about the civil lawsuits at issue (which I now understand were settled), I misspoke. I conflated sexual harassment cases with a criminal case involving sexual assault charges.”