At last year’s Oscars, Brie Larson won Best Actress for her tear-jerking performance in Room, in which she plays a survivor of sexual assault and kidnapping. If you weren’t already on the floor crying, she also hugged every single sexual assault survivor that stood on stage during Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground.
So at this year’s Oscars, when Larson presented the award for Best Actor only to have Casey Affleck win for Manchester by the Sea, our jaws dropped in horror. If you don’t know, Affleck was hit with double lawsuits in 2010 by women who had been working with him on his mockumentary I’m Still Here. The women claimed that Affleck harassed them, made a crew member flash his genitals at them and used physical intimidation to try to force them into his hotel room, and they even woke up in their beds to find him lying there in his underwear, touching their bodies. These accusations (which Affleck of course denied) are much more than sexual harassment.
Even though Affleck thinks he has managed to leave his past behind (both lawsuits were settled out of court), incredible women like Brie Larson remind us that we cannot. let. him. forget. Her response to Affleck’s Oscars win was to look down, not clap and not give him any recognition. The internet quickly speculated that her reaction was intentional, and boy were they right.
Larson confirmed in an interview with Vanity Fair that her reaction was very purposeful. “I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself,” she said. “I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic.”
Additionally, in the latest issue of The Edit, Larson speaks out about Jane Fonda’s recent admission that she was sexually abused during childhood. “Having played two characters who were sexually abused, I’ve done a lot of work with victims of sexual abuse,” she explains. “We can’t take any steps backward in allowing people to think abuse is their fault. It’s the people-pleaser disease.”
Cue women cheering everywhere and shouting “YAS QUEEN!” The world needs more strong-ass people like Brie Larson.