Last year’s Best Actor winner will not present at or even attend this year’s Academy Awards, Deadline reports. Casey Affleck will skip the 2018 Oscars ceremony because “he did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses,” according to anonymous sources.
Traditionally, the award for Best Actress is presented by the previous year’s Best Actor winner, which would be Affleck, who won for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. Affleck was already under scrutiny at the time for two sexual harassment suits filed against him in 2010. And that was before the Harvey Weinstein fallout—between the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up protest at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago, Affleck’s involvement in this year’s ceremony very likely would be a distraction from the nominees, not to mention putting the allegations against him back in the spotlight.
An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences representative confirmed that Affleck will not present but did not say if someone else had yet been chosen to fill in. This year’s Best Actress nominees are Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, and Meryl Streep.