A Video of Ben Affleck Groping Hilarie Burton on 'TRL' is Going Viral Following His Harvey Weinstein Statement

An old video of Ben Affleck groping One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton on MTV’s Total Request Live made its rounds through the internet on Wednesday. According to the Daily Mail, the incident took place back in 2003, when Affleck was hosting the show. However, the date and briefness of the crime—yes, groping is a form of sexual assault, which is a crime—doesn’t make it any less serious.

Affleck took to Twitter to apologize for this incident, writing, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.” Somehow, his apology seems less sincere, seeing as he only acknowledged his mistake after the 14-year-old video clip went viral.

People explains that the clip resurfaced after Burton tweeted the video herself. Burton reminded the world of the crime committed against her after a fan, in reference to Affleck shaming Harvey Weinstein, explained that Affleck also harassed Burton. “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though,” Shanice Brim said on Twitter. 

Burton responded to the tweet, saying, “I didn’t forget.”

Burton's words are a chilling reminder that victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment never forget. These crimes live with their victims, yet these crimes are often ignored or understated by the public and their own aggressors.

This viral clip of Affleck grabbing Burton’s breast resurfaced shortly after Affleck took to Twitter to demonize Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment. In a statement posted to his account, Affleck said of Weinstein, “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, coworkers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”

If Weinstein’s actions are so “unacceptable,” then why would you grope someone’s boob?

While this might seem like a powerful monologue to deliver (especially since Affleck drafted it just a day before International Day of the Girl), Affleck is a man who committed sexual assault himself, so his Twitter speech loses most of its credibility. Plus, I can't help put notice that he was able to deliver a certified novel about Weinstein's wrongdoings, yet he could only be bothered to post one sentence about what he did to Burton. Although, what can you expect from an Affleck?

What's more shocking than Affleck's underwhelming, 14-years-late "apology" is that MTV never reprimanded him for his crime at the time, even though it's clear in the video that Burton was extremely uncomfortable in her encounter with him.

These repugnant acts show that even celebrities aren’t immune to sexual assault or harassment. While they might seem like “untouchables,” it’s vital that stars like Burton, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow speak out against rape culture. If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual assault or harassment, please don’t hesitate to report it or contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, because nobody should ever fall victim to these crimes.