With all of the countless accusations against Harvey Weinstein now at the forefront, the public was keen to hear what those closest to him would have to say. After good friend and colleague, Ben Affleck came forward to disassociate himself with Weinstein, things quickly went left. Long-time Weinstein whistleblower Rose McGowan called foul recalling a memory of the time where she told Affleck about Weinstein’s conduct. She alleged that Affleck was definitely in the know:
Her firestorm of allegations landed her in Twitter jail. Shortly afterwards, ole Ben found himself reminded of his own sexual harassment past.
Oh the power of technology. Without the visual and audio proof of sexual harassment, would anyone ever believe the women (and some men) that come forward? Likely not, because even with receipts, society is always good for a “yeah, but…” CNN reported a video of MTV’s former TRL Host, Hilarie Burton has resurfaced. A bread crumb of a chopped up compilation of TRL’s past was first mentioned in a tweet by Burton in an exchange with a fan recollecting the incident in which Affleck first asked Burton “How old are you, 19?” First signs of a creep. Anytime a woman's age is brought up early on, it’s a clearance for what is about to happen next. Because assault is one charge, but assault of someone under the consent age is a messier charge. The bread crumb led to an extended version of the interview in which Affleck then stands from his chair to give the interviewer a hug and slyly pinches her breast. Burton laughs it off, but is obviously uncomfortable. Affleck sits back in his seat and gives a smirk obviously pleased with himself for “pulling that move.”
The actor has since apologized simply stating that he “acted inappropriately.” Of course, he did not mention how he subscribes to rape culture and patriarchy, or how can do better to protect his sisters, daughters, colleagues, as he previously tweeted. His brother Casey Affleck has also been in the spotlight for harrassment allegations from 2010. White men with power often go unchecked. It’s no surprise that a family of successful brothers would be under fire for similar sexual harassment accusations.
Boston’s beloved golden boy has blatantly lied and been exposed in the press before. Back in 2015, you may remember the kerfuffle on PBS's “Find Your Roots,” a series in which Dr. Henry Louis Gates researched celebrities' history in America. It was revealed that Affleck requested to leave out the part of his family history where a relative was a slaveowner. Of course, no decent human being would want to be associated with such a dark and tragic part of American history, especially given Affleck’s philanthropic efforts, but to try and hide it, risk the series integrity, and Gates reputation is a whole other thing. Journalist Anderson Cooper also learned of his family history being a part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but was pleased to hear that his slave-owning relative was killed by a rebellious slave.
The overarching theme is that Ben Affleck will do anything to save his own ass to keep up his adored appearance. One cannot help but believe McGowan’s allegations that Affleck was fully aware of his pal’s proclivities, especially given the fact that he is now in the hot seat for his own accusations.
More accusations from the circle of friends include Affleck’s other Boston bro, Matt Damon and Russell Crowe trying to cover for Weinstein. Vulture recently reported Crowe and Damon's allegedly participation in killing a New York Times piece of numerous sexual harassment and assault claims about Weinstein.
There is the unspoken understanding many women (and some men) know to be true when dealing with men in positions of power over them: Don’t rock the boat. Don’t be that girl. Be cool. It’s all in good fun. It was a joke. Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be a prude. Jeez, do you know how many women would love to let him do that to them? These notions have been ingrained into girls very early on and are forced to swallow it as it is better to go along to get along.
And like clock work, more women are coming forward speaking out about Affleck's behavior.
So what is the truth, Ben?
Though Rose McGowan is appreciated in many feminist circles as a registered badass, her story is a cautionary tale of what happens when women who are wronged speak up. She was only supposed to exist as a sexual fantasy, only obtainable to the Harvery Weinstein’s of the world and that’s it. But Rose McGowan refuses to be silenced.
Above Image still: MTV's TRL Ben Affleck Interview
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Bry'onna Mention is a digital editor at BUST and a wavvy womanist who is always ready to square up against misogynoir and respectability. She can usually be found running through the burbs with her ‘fro. Catch her on the internet at @radsadblackbry or email@example.com.