Kenneth Lonergan Defends Casey Affleck in Response to College Essay

Kenneth Lonergan, Casey AffleckNational Board of

Kenneth Lonergan has once again come to the defense of his “Manchester by the Sea” star Casey Affleck, who was accused of sexual harassment by two former employees in 2010.

The defense came in the form a response to an opinion piece published in the newspaper of Lonergan’s alma mater, Wesleyan University, by student Connor Aberle.


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Aberle’s piece, titled “How Wesleyan is Complicit in Affleck’s Sexual Misconduct by Endorsing Lonergan ’84,” critiques both Lonergan for defending Affleck during awards season and the school for continuing to promote Lonergan’s connection with Wesleyan. Affleck won this year’s best actor Oscar while Lonergan’s work on “Manchester” earned him the best screenwriting prize.

Lonergan writes in his piece “How Connor Aberle and The Argus are Complicit in Slandering Casey Affleck” that Aberle’s article “is such a tangle of illogic, misinformation and flat-out slander that only the author’s presumed youth can possibly excuse his deeply offensive display of ignorance, and warped PC-fueled sense of indignation.”

He goes on to condemn the student for using terms like “sexual violence,” “sexual harassment,” “sexual abuse,” and “sexual misconduct” interchangeably and for “slandering” Affleck when the allegations were never proven.

“How does Mr Aberle dare to write as if he knows who was telling the truth and who was not?” Lonergan goes on to say. “Anyone can sue anyone for anything in this country; the unsubstantiated details go in the public record and stay there.”


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Affleck was sued under a breach of contract violation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other complaints, by two women who were working on his unsuccessful mockumentary “I’m Still Here.” The allegations include lewd text messages after one of the women refused to sleep with Affleck, Affleck climbing into bed with one of the women while she was sleeping, and creating a hostile work environment by bringing up sex (specifically sex with the women) oftentimes on set.

The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. “In other words,” Lonergan writes, “nothing was proved or disproved.”

The court filings can be found here.

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  1. Nate Parker was acquitted at a jury trial. Hollywood threw him away like yesterday’s bathwater but will go to the ends of earth to protect Casey. White privilege anyone? How about a full throated defense of the (supposed) finality of jury verdict and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in the Parker case Mr. Lonergan?

    • The Truth says:

      Hollywood’s treatment of Nate Parker is reprehensible.

      Unlike Affleck, Parker faced his accuser in open court, and a jury of Parker’s “peers” — all but one of the jurors was white — found that the claims against him were unsubstantiated. Nonetheless, Parker’s reputation was unfairly tarred, and his world class artistry was deprived of the recognition it deserved.

      Affleck paid to ensure that the charges against him never went before a jury, and he’s supposedly guiltless because “nothing was proved or disproved.”

      What’s wrong with this picture?

  2. What goes around comes around says:

    Lonergan writes, “nothing was proved or disproved.” Like Roger Ailes. Pay off a person and then act like a victim. Amoral.

    • proyectomas says:

      You are not and will never have the right to be, the moral judge of other people’s lives. Besides, are you the only one who “knows the truth” of what happened? What I see is the media abusing its power by slandering people when they’re getting famous. Why didn’t anybody say anything when Affleck was in Disney’s The Darkest Hours? Or in the movie Interstellar? He has worked with numerous people before and after 2010, has never had a similar incident, or the media so interested in his past until he started sweeping awards in 2016. And read before you comment: Lonergan just addressed the issue of he himself being attacked for having Affleck in the film Manchester by the Sea.

      • The Truth says:

        If Affleck is not guilty of the alleged abuses, why did he settle out of court? The notion that celebrities often settle cases brought against them when they’re innocent is a self-serving myth. The skilled teams of attorneys celebrities have at their disposal routinely get cases without merit dismissed. But if the charges have any substance, claiming innocence and then settling is a default strategy for the well-heeled.

        And who are you to call others out for being irresponsibly judgmental when you blithely judge the media?

        Finally, follow your own advice regarding reading before you comment. Lonergan clearly attempts to defend Affleck by suggesting that the charges were “unsubstantiated” and stating that “nothing was proved or disproved.” Of course, nothing can be legally proved or disproved when hush money thwarts the justice process.

  3. Coleman says:

    Affleck should be sued for making a crappy movie. I left the theater it was so painful.

    • Steve says:

      Actually, Lonergan wrote and directed the movie, so you’d want to sue him. Personally, I loved the movie, although I’m troubled by the allegations against Affleck.

      • Bill B. says:

        I loved the movie too and Affleck broke my heart. I saw a couple of better movies in 2016, but none affected as strongly as this one did. I don’t care about the Affleck allegations as that is all they are. I also don’t avoid movies because of actors’ personal lives and misdeeds or perceived misdeeds. All of these crazy right wingers on these sites with endless posts about how they will never see this or that because of liberal actors being in it are all full crap. They go see movies and most actors lean to the left.

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