Ah, internet journalism–sometimes it’s plain terrible, sometimes it’s just great. Just take a look at how fast the story on the public date proposal for actress Erich Gonzales grew, from people simply arguing whether it was cute/romantic or creepy (we vote restraining-order-levels of creepy) to someone coming along to claim that it was all a viral stunt planned by a serial scammer. And it all played out just within the last couple of days.
Indeed, on the interwebs, life comes at you fast.
So here’s another story that comes courtesy of internet-weaned journalists. The other day, Pop Culture Died in 2009, a New York-based gossip blog run by “Mischa Barton’s last fan,” posted a 2004 video of Ben Affleck with Montreal TV host Anne Marie Losique. It was supposedly an interview to promote the now widely panned Jersey Girl, but things took a different turn from the usual celebrity tête-à-tête. Proceed to the mess below with caution; you may need to keep a puke bucket nearby:
Let’s try to break that down:
1. Ben Affleck seemed really drunk. (LBR, he was most probably drunk.)
2. He and Anne Marie Losique seemed very familiar with each other already prior to the interview.
3. Given that, a man holding a woman down on his lap is nowhere near normal celebrity interview protocol.
4. He also kept laying his head on her breasts and commenting on how firm they were. News.com.au provides the transcript of parts of the interview:
“They would like the show better if you did it topless, wouldn’t they?” [Affleck] asks. “That’s a lovely perfume you have on. You usually show a lot more cleavage than this, what’s the story?”
“It’s Sunday morning,” [Losique] responds.
“That never stopped you before, from getting them t**ties out. Who you trying to fool, Sunday morning? You should be in church with that rack on display.”
5. It’s hard to determine consent here, because even though Losique was giggling and hugging Affleck back, it’s not abnormal for women to laugh or do everything else except say “No” outright in situations where they actually feel uncomfortable and/or scared.
6. At 3:43, Losique actually tried to wiggle her way out of Affleck’s hold, but the actor held her closer more tightly, telling her to stop moving.
7. That scene ended with no one harmed–until Affleck quipped at 4:01: ““Don’t make me look like I am retarded! I look like I have cerebral palsy now.” He then briefly made hand gestures to “mimic” someone with CP.
You know whom that part especially reminded us of?
The video, which has had a couple of faint revivals through the years, is a sh*t mine of sh*t, checking off a garbage-filled bingo list: sexist behavior, good ol’ ableism, an on-the-job demeanor that would get anyone else fired.
But why bring it up again, some might ask. “It’s been 13 years!” True, and between then and now, Affleck has won an Oscar for producing Argo, had been married twice, has gone through more scandals only to rise from the ashes, and is currently lying low after his turn at Batman didn’t quite pan out as expected and after basically nobody watched his last film Live By Night. Last we heard, he and Jennifer Garner filed for divorce, about a month after he completed his second stint at rehab.
It remains to be seen whether or not this video, brought to us courtesy of a nostalgia-fueled gossip site, would make an effect on Affleck’s career this time. Aside from having a powerful PR team, he himself has been pretty good at turning his career/life around after making a mess, lather, rinse, repeat. But since he has Teflon-like superhero capabilities of creating a tortured-man-surviving-against-the-odds-and-coming-out-better narrative out of behavior that, we repeat, most people would be run out of town for, it won’t hurt to remind everyone of another part of who he really is, right?
Especially a part that seems to run strong in the Affleck family.
Images from Giphy.