Ben Affleck has been making the press rounds promoting his second turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Warner Bros. superhero tentpole “Justice League,” and he was put in the hot seat during his interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Colbert asked the actor about Harvey Weinstein and his own sexual harassment accusation from “TRL” host and “One Tree Hill” actress Hilarie Burton, to which affleck responded, “This is a comedy show, correct?”
Affleck noted that he hadn’t worked with Weinstein in nearly 15 years when the harassment and abuse allegations against the former studio head started being made. The actor reiterated that he was not aware of Weinstein’s alleged abuse and expressed remorse over the fact that he was making movies with Weinstein while women were suffering because of the executive’s behavior. Affleck also reminded Colbert that he is donating all future residuals from his Weinstein-backed films to the anti-sexual assault organization RAINN and Film Independent.
“It was awful to see the extent of these terrible crimes, and it was hideous,” Affleck said. :While we were making these movies and having these experiences, there were people who were suffering and dealing with awful experiences.”
As for the groping allegation against him, Affleck told Colbert that when he went to give Burton a hug during a taped interview for “TRL” he touched her breast. Burton accused Affleck publicly on Twitter on October 11, to which the actor quickly replied, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.” Affleck said on “The Late Show” that he does not remember the encounter but that he “absolutely apologizes” for it.
“I certainly don’t think she’s lying or making it up,” Affleck said. “It’s just the kind of thing that we have to as men, I think, as we become more aware of this, be really, really mindful of our behavior and hold ourselves accountable and say, ‘If I was ever part of the problem, I want to change. I want to be part of the solution,’ and to not shy away from these uncomfortable or awkward or strange encounters that we might’ve had where we were sort of navigating and not knowing.”
Affleck added, “I think the most important thing to do is to support the voices that are coming forward, believe them, and create a business where more women are empowered and in place so less of this happens, and so that there is a way of reporting this stuff that people can feel safe doing it.”
The actor’s superhero film “Justice League” is now playing in theaters nationwide. Watch the entirety of Affleck’s interview with Colbert below.