Ben Affleck made a pair of promotional appearances for his new film Justice League, speaking with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Thursday and Savannah Guthrie on the Today show Friday morning. While both hosts talked about the film with the Cambridge native, they also discussed the Harvey Weinstein scandal, sexual misconduct in Hollywood, and Affleck’s pledge to “be part of the solution.”
With Guthrie, Affleck spoke about his first impressions of disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein two decades ago.
“I knew he was sleazy and kind of a bully, but unfortunately that wasn’t that uncommon,” Affleck said. “I was brand new to Hollywood. I was 24 years old. I had never made a movie. I didn’t know much of anything, really.
“It really is a shame because, although I stopped working with Harvey a long time ago, those movies hold a special place in my heart,” he continued. “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 while that was happening, 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 previously announced that he will donate any future residuals from Miramax and Weinstein Company films to charity.
Guthrie also asked Affleck about actress Rose McGowan’s tweet, in which she called Affleck a liar in regards to what he knew about Weinstein’s actions.
“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. “I believe Rose. I support her. I really like and admire her tenacity, and I wish her the best.”
While Colbert and Affleck discussed many of the same topics, Colbert also asked the actor about the accusations leveled against him last month.
“There have been multiple accusations and revelations about various people … and you yourself have been accused of a few things, sexual impropriety,” Colbert said. “You’ve apologized for some of that.”
“What I was accused of by a woman was of touching her breast while I gave her a hug,” Affleck said. “I don’t remember it, but I absolutely apologize for it. I certainly don’t think she’s lying or making it up. This is just that 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.'”
While Affleck did not mention names in his response, it seemed that he was talking about former MTV VJ Hilarie Burton, who on Oct. 10 tweeted that she “didn’t forget” Affleck grabbing her breast during a 2003 episode of TRL. At the time, Affleck issued an apology to Burton on Twitter, saying, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” but did not explicitly say what he was apologizing for.
Affleck did not mention the allegations leveled by makeup artist and author Annamarie Tendler, who on Oct. 11 tweeted that Affleck grabbed her butt at a 2014 Golden Globes party.
He also didn’t speak about actress Gwyneth Paltow, who told The New York Times that when she was 22, Weinstein ended a work meeting by placing his hands on her and suggesting they go to his bedroom for massages. Affleck’s friend and fellow actor Matt Damon said he heard about Paltrow’s allegations against Weinstein from Affleck, who dated Paltrow in the ’90s.