Affleck says he now wants to pass down what he's learned from the movements to his sons with ex-wife Summer Phoenix, 14-year-old IN and 10-year-old Atticus.
Affleck discussed his upcoming film, The Old Man & The Gun, out in September, but also answered questions about the #MeToo movement and those allegations of sexual harassment.
Of the decision to step aside as Academy Award presenter, Affleck seemed to simultaneously say the right thing and yet say nothing of any discernible substance at all. Why did you do that?
"I think it was the right thing to do, just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment", Affleck recently told the Associated Press (via IndieWire). "And having two incredible women go present the Best Actress award felt like the right thing".
The two women settled a lawsuit with Affleck but can not comment on their allegations as part of their settlement agreement.
"(Lowery) always assembles a really nice group of people around him", Affleck said.
First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret. "I wish I had found a way to resolve things in a different way".
"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". And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as they've respected me and my privacy. But we haven't heard from you since #MeToo and Time's Up became a big talking point in the culture.
The Academy Award victor then took the opportunity to discuss how much he is becoming more enlightened in the #MeToo era.
"Over the past couple of years, I've been listening a lot to this conversation, this public conversation, and learned a lot", says Affleck, crediting #MeToo with his self-reflection.
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. And once I did that I discovered there was a lot to learn", he said. I was a boss. "I was one of the producers on the set". And it was a insane mockumentary, (a) very unconventional movie. He was, as he admits, "the boss" and while he doesn't specifically address the uneven power dynamics that brings into play, he does take responsibility for what he calls the film's "unprofessional environment".
But he contributed "to that unprofessional environment;" he permitted that sort of behavior from others on set, and he wishes that he didn't. "And I regret a lot of that", he continued. "And I know just enough to know that in general I need to keep my mouth shut and listen and try to figure out what's going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can". But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional.
Affleck seems to intentionally characterize the situation as vaguely as possible. "She's been way ahead of the curve on all these issues", he said. He was accused of entering his female colleagues' beds half-naked, consistent "lewd comments" and discussion of sexual acts, encouraging male crew members to expose themselves to the women, repeatedly referring to women as "cows", and consistently encouraging other male crew members to harass the women. That is definitely "unprofessional", but it also sounds like something way worse.