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7 Questionable Things Fans Ignore About Ben Affleck

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Ben Affleck

Actor Ben Affleck has definitely played some memorable rolls, from winning an Oscar for Best Screenplay alongside Matt Damon for 'Good Will Hunting,' starring in 'Gone Girl,' and playing Batman in the 'Justice League' films.

However, despite his long and fruitful career in Hollywood, Affleck, 49, has definitely been embroiled in some questionable moments, with the press honing in on him for multiple incidents.

Here are 7 questionable things people ignored about Ben Affleck.

1. Ben Affleck admitted to acting inappropriately towards actress Hilarie Burton.

When Affleck publicly condemned disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein at the start of the #MeToo Movement, he inadvertently managed to get himself caught up in his own forgotten inappropriate behavior.

In a public statement, Affleck expressed his shock and disdain at the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein, writing, "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."

However, in response to his statement, people started bringing up the time when he had grabbed actress Hilarie Burton's breasts while on 'Total Request Live,' according to CNN.

"[Affleck] grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though," the tweet read. However, Burton quickly responded, writing, "I didn't forget." She then linked a clip featuring Affleck asking her, "How old are you? 19?" on the show.

Affleck quickly responded, expressing his remorse for the incident. "I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize."

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2. Affleck publicly relapsed after attending rehab.

Following Affleck's 40-day stay in rehab to treat his alcoholism, the actor shared on Instagram that seeking help had been a "sign of courage, not weakness, or failure," according to Sky News.

However, it didn't take long for Affleck to fall off of the wagon, captured by paparazzi looking extremely intoxicated. In a video posted by TMZ, the 'Justice League' star was seen stumbling out of a party in Los Angeles.

The day after the party, Affleck admitted to TMZ, who had ambushed him while he was outside of his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner's, home, admitting to having broken his sobriety. "You know, it happens. Just slipped. But I'm not going to let it derail me," he said. 

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3. Affleck was accused of inappropriately groping another woman.

Following Burton's accusation that Affleck had inappropriately touched her while on 'TRL,' Annamarie Tendler, a makeup artist, and ex-wife of John Mulaney took to Twitter accusing Affleck of groping her at an award show three years prior.

"I would also love to get an apology from Ben Affleck who grabbed my a** at a Golden Globes party in 2014," Tendler said, according to Vanity Fair. "He walked by me, cupped my butt, and pressed his finger into my crack. I guess he tried to play it like he was politely moving me out of the way and oops touched my butt instead of my lower back?"

Tendler continued, saying, "Like most women in these situations I didn't say anything but I have thought a lot about what I'd say if I ever saw him again." Her claims were seemingly backed up by comedy writer, Jen Statsky, according to E! Online, who had also attended the party.

"I was also at this party and *multiple* friends had this same exact experience." 

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4. Affleck revealed that he'd "probably still be drinking" if he stay married to Jennifer Garner.

During an appearance on the 'Howard Stern Show' back in December 2021, Affleck opened up about his alcoholism, and his struggles with drinking while he had been married to Jennifer Garner, revealing that if he had stayed married to Garner, he would've continued drinking, according to People.

"I'd probably still be drinking. It's part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped," he admitted to Howard Stern, saying he felt unhappy with Garner. "I was like 'I can't leave 'cause of my kids, but I'm not happy, what do I do?' What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution."

Many people immediately interpreted it as Affleck seemingly blaming his addiction on Garner, although he quickly clarified his comments while on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!.'

"Really, it's about my kids I gotta just draw a line and be really clear. Like, that's not true. I don't believe that. It's the exact opposite of who I am, what I believe, and I would never want my kids to think I would ever say a bad word about their mom," Affleck said.

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5. Affleck was criticized for playing a Mexican-American in a movie.

For Affleck's second directorial debut with 'Argo,' it ended up being a box-office hit, even going on to win a 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture, according to The Guardian.

However, actor Edward James Olmos accused Affleck of whitewashing after casting himself as a Mexican-American.

In an interview with Deadline, Olmos argued that the part of Tony Mendez, who is based on the real-life CIA operative who helped to bring back six American hostages from Iran in the late 1970s, should have gone to a Latino actor.

"[Ben Affleck] was the director and he should've either gotten Michael Peña, or Andy Garcia, or myself, Jimmy Smits, any one of a multitude of people that can handle those roles," Olmos said. "[Affleck] said, 'Well, they wouldn't have made the movie if I wasn't playing the role.' B******t."

Olmos continued, saying how it was unfair that "99 percent" of viewers wouldn't know Mendez was a Chicano "born and raised in El Paso, Texas" as a result of Affleck's casting. 

Affleck defended his casting during the 'Argo' screening, saying that he had received Mendez's personal approval to play him, adding that Mendez "does not have a Latino/Spanish accent," and "you wouldn't necessarily select him out of a line of ten people and go, 'This guy's Latino.'"

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6. Affleck said that kissing a man in a film was one of his "greatest acting challenges."

According to GSN, while discussing a scene in the 1997 film 'Chasing Amy' in which Affleck had to kiss Jason Lee, actor Kevin Smith recalled a comment Affleck had made at the time. "A man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face ... Now I'm a serious actor."

Smith later apologized for bringing up the comment Affleck had made during a Facebook Live, but people had already started criticizing the 'Gone Girl' actor for his choice of verbiage. 

Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood took particular offense, tweeting, according to NME, "Try getting raped in a scene. Also, grow up Ben." When someone pointed out how long ago Affleck had made the comment, Wood responded, "I'm sure he just thought it was funny, but even jokes like that are damaging. Also, do you think us ladies like kissing all the guys we kiss? Just 'cause it's a 'straight kiss' doesn't mean we enjoy it. Ahem."

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Affleck admitted that he'd had more problems with the kiss than he'd expected to. "I'm not homophobic ... I guess I am, more than I thought, in that, you know, it was just difficult for me, and I didn't think it would be." 

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7. Affleck tried to hide his family's racist past from the public.

While appearing on an episode of the PBS series 'Finding Your Roots,' hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Affleck had discovered that his ancestors had been slave owners, a fact the actor tried desperately to cover up, according to Rolling Stone.

According to the Daily Mail, leaked emails showed Affleck wanting his family's history to be censored from the show. The actor later admitted, according to Digital Spy, that he'd asked Gates to entirely ignore his family's history of slavery in the final edit.

"I felt embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn't want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery."

Gates initially had doubts of agreeing to a censorship but was ultimately convinced by the chairman of Sony, Michael Lynton. However in a statement, according to the Daily Mail, the former took responsibility for concealing Affleck's true lineage in a show which had previously disclosed Anderson Cooper, Ken Burns, and Derek Jeter's similar genealogy.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.