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LOS ANGELES — Casey Affleck has withdrawn from presenting the best actress award at the 2018 Oscars amid continuing concern about sexual harassment allegations.
Affleck's publicist said Thursday that the actor would not attend the March 4 ceremony where, traditionally, he would have been expected to present the award for best actress as the reigning best actor winner. A film academy spokesperson said they "appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year."
The actor faced sexual harassment allegations in 2010 in two public civil suits during the production of the mockumentary "I'm Still Here." The suits were settled for undisclosed sums and Affleck has said that the terms of the settlement prevent him from discussing the matter.
While the lawsuits were covered in the press at the time, the allegations gained additional attention ahead of the release of "Manchester by the Sea," for which he won the best actor award. Actress Brie Larson famously did not clap when presenting Affleck with the award at the 2017 ceremony.
In an interview with the Boston Globe after winning the Oscar, Affleck said: "I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else."
When the #MeToo movement exploded in October and the film academy revoked Harvey Weinstein's membership, the spotlight turned back to Affleck and other academy members who have been accused of misconduct.