He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for “Manchester By The Sea” last year, but Casey Affleck won’t be taking the stage at this year’s Oscars ceremony.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck has withdrawn from Oscar presenting duties due to controversy surrounding sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.
Tradition dictates that the previous year’s Best Actor Oscar winner present the award for Best Actress, while the last Best Actress winner presents the Oscar to the new Best Actor winner.
Deadline reports Affleck, 42, did not want to become a “distraction” from the actresses in the category with his presence.
A spokesperson for the Academy tells PopSugar, “We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year.”
The actor has been marred in scandal after two women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Affleck during the filming of “I’m Not Here” in 2010. He denied the allegations and settled out of court with the two women for an undisclosed sum.
It is unclear whether Affleck will attend the Mar. 4 ceremony.
Concerns had already begun to surface surrounding the actor at this year’s Oscars amid the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. His presence at the 2017 Academy Awards also caused a stir, most notably from previous Best Actress winner Brie Larson who was tasked with presenting Affleck his award. After announcing Affleck as the winner, the “Room” star – who has been a strong advocate for sexual assault survivors – gave a subdued response to his win for his role in “Manchester By The Sea”, refusing to clap as he received a standing ovation.
“I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself,” she later told Vanity Fair of her reaction.
See a sample of the Twitter response to Affleck’s withdrawal below.