Casey Affleck just won a BAFTA for his performance in ‘Manchester By The Sea’, a film about a depressed recluse who struggles with his demons. Everything’s hunky-dory in the land of Hollywood. I’m sure Casey spent the night celebrating with expensive champagne. If you do a quick internet search of Casey Affleck, however, it’s not long before you stumble across reports of something a little bit sinister.
Back in 2010, two female colleagues sued Affleck for sexual misconduct. They alleged that Affleck had both verbally and sexually harassed them on a number of occasions, displaying behaviours such as unwanted sexual propositioning, getting into bed with one of the two women uninvited, and instructing a crew member to display his penis. To avoid the case going to court, Affleck settled both claims privately. Details of the deal remain a secret but we do know that each woman sought $2 million. Despite media coverage in outlets such as Buzzfeed, New York Times, and Mashable, the mainstream media declined to report on the story – leaving many people in the dark about the murky past of Casey Affleck.
Another example of Hollywood illustrating selective ignorance is Johnny Depp. The actor developed a reputation as being the cool, sensitive actor who made his money with quirky performances in films such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Last year, Johnny Depp’s now ex-wife, Amber Heard, accused him of being both verbally and physically abusive throughout their marriage. Cue Depp parading a number of ex-girlfriends in the public domain to defend him. Despite a restraining order being granted to keep Depp away from Heard as the court proceedings were ongoing, Hollywood remained eerily silent. Amber Heard was vilified by a collection of media outlets and Depp’s delusional fans defended him to the death.
Yet the recent lawsuit revelations from Johnny Depp’s former business managers shed a naked light on the actor’s true character. Depp did not accept responsibility for his actions towards Heard and, through details that emerged recently, seemingly cannot accept responsibility for his reckless spending. Because, you know, somebody held a gun to his head and forced him to buy 70 guitars, Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, and countless crates of expensive wines.
This is a story that happens too often and isn’t one that’s exclusive to Hollywood either. The music industry is just as guilty of choosing to ignore menacing conduct if those involved ensure record label owners are able to sustain their hedonistic and multi-million pound lifestyles. Look at the cases of Kesha filing against producer Dr. Luke for abuse and sexual assault, Dr. Dre’s history of violence against women, and Lady Gaga’s recount of being raped at the age of 19 by an older and more successful record executive. The footballing world is infamous for covering up the sexual exploits of popular footballers too.
At the end of the day, big wigs across all industries care about one thing; money. If that comes at the expense of morals, justice, and a clear conscience then, in the eyes of many, so be it.