by Ben Affleck
Hollywood, and indeed, the world at large, has a problem. A problem of male entertainers sexually harassing people in lower positions of power, predominately women. Honestly, all of this news really makes me sick to my six-pack abs. And I’m one of the perpetrators (in a figurative way which does not in any sense constitute an admission of guilt), so me saying this is a pretty big deal. That’s because back in 2003 I groped a woman on MTV, which I don’t remember, but just because I don’t remember it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For all we know, it probably did happen… maybe. But she was like, nineteen, so, who knows? Have you met a teenager? Either way, having done it or not, and whether or not it was documented on video, I’m sorry. And that’s what people like me who did a bad thing need to be saying: I did it and I’m sorry. In fact, I think it’s high time that all men should take accountability for their sexual harassment claims, as long as they’re not my brother Casey.
When the news kept breaking week after week, I thought I had a grasp of the situation. Turns out I was wrong, which is super rare, on account of how smart I am. Remember in Good Will Hunting when Matt Damon asked that guy how he liked them apples? I wrote that. Anyways, three weeks ago I thought that this issue was an entirely new phenomenon. That is, men sexually harassing people with literally zero justice being served. As it so happens, a lot of people have told me that the women that Casey allegedly harassed and assaulted deserve justice, too. To that, I say, “No,” which, if you think about it, is exactly what those women said to him. Same thing.
Like many men, I was shocked to learn that sexual harassment has been happening right under my nose. And what’s worse is people tell me it’s a problem as old as time itself, which is so sad. But now I realize that my privilege blinded me from the truth and simultaneously protected me from ever having to experience anything negative in my life. This has forced me to admit that I have one human flaw. So, with this revelation in hand, I’ve begun to rethink everything I’ve ever seen while working in Hollywood in the hopes that I might uncover other instances of sexual harassment that I originally glossed over unintentionally. To be clear, I’ve purposefully skipped over the memories of Casey. Of course I did– those ones make me want to throw up!
In any event, since I’m so woke now, I feel that it’s my duty to enlighten my fellow men who might be in the dark or on the edge of the truth. I’ll let you know I’m here to force you all into the light, whether you want to be or not. The fact is: men abuse people constantly. It’s happening right now all over the world. More often than not, after such abuse, these men threaten their victims into silence. For others, their silence is secured due to fears of the negative fallout that would befall those who ousted them. This is a disgusting, appalling, and depressing situation. My heart goes out to all of the victims, except for those that my brother Casey possibly sexually harassed or assaulted.
As I learned more about the issue, I discovered a chilling truth: I had long assumed that celebrities like myself were untouchable, especially by the likes of those who want to touch people without their consent. I naively assumed the victims were nobodies / background extras. That’s when I discovered that many of the women and men and non-gender-conforming people who have been victims of sexual assault by Hollywood fat cats are close-ish to me in stardom, while others fall everywhere along the fame spectrum. Plus, some aren’t even famous at all, which is messed up, because being famous rocks. That means sexual harassment can happen to anyone, at any time, with the soul reason being that the wrongdoer believes they can get away with it. Just like my li’l bro Casey, who should always and forever remain in a state of getting away with it.
As a very humble person, I’ll admit that I can’t solve this problem alone, but I know what myself and other men can do to help. First, we need all men to stop sexually harassing everyone. Second, we need all men to pay for the crimes they commit. Third, we need to listen to and believe women and everyone else who claims they were sexually harassed or assaulted. Fourth, and finally, we need to foster an environment where people do not live in a constant state of fear for their well-being from the actions of awful men. Of course, my brother Casey is never going to stop working and I’m always going to have his back until the day I die, so accomplishing those things actually sounds impossible now that I think about it.
But, hey, at least I’m saying something!
Ben Affleck is a famous Hollywood actor. On an unrelated note, Ben Hargrave is a comedian, writer, and videographer living in New York. His Twitter handle is @HarHarHargrave.