Ben Affleck has come under fire for harassment allegations 'joke'
There's never an appropriate time to joke about sexual harassment, but some situations are arguably worse than others.
Due to the recent allegations against the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick and a handful of other Hollywood personalities, harassment and abuse in the film industry is obviously a sensitive topic right now. As a result, any discussions on the matter will have a greater weighting than they might previously have done.
It pretty much goes without saying, then, that you really ought to think carefully about what you say on the subject - even if your words are well-meaning, or are intended to be "a joke".
Unfortunately, Ben Affleck apparently didn't get that memo, and made a very inappropriate comment during a recent interview.
While discussing the new Justice League film alongside his co-stars, Affleck and the other cast members were asked which character they would most like to see added to the superhero team if there was to be a sequel.
Without hesitation, Affleck responded, "Black Canary," adding "we need more women".
By all accounts, this is a pretty good answer. Black Canary was a comic book favorite, and Affleck's advocacy for more women in Hollywood appeared to show that he has been listening to recent discussions on the importance of having better female representation in the film industry.
What's more, the other stars of the film - Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa - seemed to agree with his choice, and listed a few other female superheroes they thought would make a good addition.
So where did he go wrong?
Well, after listening to their answers, the interviewer asked, "What would you get up to if you had [someone] like Supergirl?"
To which Affleck replied: "Are you following the news at all?"
Whatever way he meant the comment to go down, the somewhat ambiguous response caused his co-stars to fall silent. And it was super awkward.
Only last month, Affleck had to apologise to One Tree Hill star, Hilarie Burton. The incident happened back in 2003, but the actor was only prompted to say sorry for his actions after he spoke out against Weinstein.
His hypocrisy was pointed out by people on Twitter, who reminded him that he had groped Burton in the past.
When the news of Weinstein's abuse first reached the press, Affleck said:
"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades.
"The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughter.
"We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power."
However, his sentiments have been somewhat tainted by the recent comment. Hopefully he offers some clarification on what he meant in the interview, and takes accountability for any "jokes" that were in poor taste.