Colbert asked Affleck questions about Harvey Weinstein and the actor’s own alleged sexual misconduct.
“This is a comedy show, correct?” Affleck laughed as Colbert brought up Weinstein.
Affleck said he hasn’t “worked for Harvey for more than 15 years,” but he did on films like Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, and Chasing Amy.
“It was awful to see the extent of these terrible crimes, and it was hideous,” he said. Affleck added how his experience filming those earlier movies is now “tainted” when you realize that “while we were making these movies and having these experiences, there were people who were suffering and dealing with awful experiences.”
Affleck reiterated that he’s decided to give back the residuals that he is getting from any Miramax films he worked on and giving the money to organizations like RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and Film Independent.
The actor has been accused of groping former TRL correspondent and One Tree Hill alum Hilarie Burton during a TRL appearance in 2003. He has since apologized, tweeting “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”
When Colbert brought up the incident, Affleck said, “What I was accused of by a woman was of touching her breast while I gave her a hug.”
Affleck continued, “I don’t remember it, but I absolutely apologized for it. I certainly don’t think she’s lying or making it up. 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 behaviour 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 that he thinks “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.”
When Affleck was asked about Weinstein on Today, he said the allegations have opened his eyes to “the terrible extent of this problem here in our country.”
“I knew he was sleazy and kind of a bully, but unfortunately that wasn’t that uncommon,” Affleck said.
Affleck continued, “I was brand new to Hollywood. I was 24 years old, I never made a movie and didn’t know much of anything really. To now look back on it and think gosh some other people were going through something really ugly and disturbing and difficult and terrible and terrifying… the only thing I could think to do is to give my residuals from my Harvey movies to a couple of organizations that I think are making a difference and try to reconcile that.”
Affleck also addressed the allegation that actress Rose McGowan told him about her experience with Weinstein and he didn’t do anything about it.
McGowan spoke to the Times about her 1997 alleged encounter with Weinstein and said she had a brief business meeting with him and that she sat at the far end of a couch, while he sat in a chair. On the way out, she said he pointed out that the hotel had a hot tub.
“And then what happened, happened,” she said. “Suffice it to say a door opened and my life changed.”
She declined to elaborate but she said she fought back tears as she left the hotel suite and went to a press event where she claims she told Affleck and her then-manager Jill Messick about what had happened.
“I don’t really want to get into other people’s individual stories because I feel like those are their stories and they are entitled to tell as much or as little of those as they want,” Affleck said on Today. “I believe Rose, I support her, I really like and admire her tenacity and wish her the best.”