"Who would not be supportive of the MeToo movement? That's an idea that's even out there?" he rhetorically asked. "That there are some people saying 'We do not believe in equality. We think the workplace should be a dangerous place for certain people and not for others'. That's preposterous."
"But it is very, very hard to talk about, and it scares me," he added. "Mostly because the values of the MeToo movement are values that are at the heart of my being; just the way I was raised, they are baked into my own value system having been raised by a mother who didn't let us watch 'Dukes Of Hazard' when we were like eight years old because it was sexist."
He continued: "The way I'm thought of, sometimes, by certain people recently has just been so antithetical to who I really am, that it's just been frustrating. And not being able to talk about it has been hard because I really wanted to support all but I felt like the best thing to do was to just be quiet, so that I didn't seem to be in opposition to something that I really wanted to champion."
After working on his mockumentary/comedy drama film "I'm Still Here", which saw his then real-life brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix "quit" acting to become a hip hop artist, Affleck was sued for $2million by Amanda White, one of the film's producers, over "sexual harassment" and "breach of oral contract". Cinematographer Magdalena Gorka also sued for $2.25 million alleging "intentional infliction of emotional distress" and "breach of oral contract".
White accused Affleck of numerous "uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances", claiming he boasted about his "sexual exploits" and referred to women as "cows", and attempted to manipulate her into staying with him in a hotel room.
Gorka claimed Affleck actively encouraged crew members to sexually harass her, and once climbed into a bed she was sleeping in wearing just his T-shirt and underwear, and reeking of alcohol.
Both women claimed he was abusive in retaliation for refusing their advances. They both settled out of court for undisclosed amounts.
During the podcast, host Shepard tried to summarize Affleck's three possible options when presented with the allegations: 1) Call them liars, and risk looking like he's trying to silence victims; 2) Accept the conditions were not ideal on a set on the tail end of an era where doing drugs was accepted and cool (but denying the "weird sexual stuff"); or 3) just ignoring it and hoping everyone eventually gets over it.
"It's a tough spot to be in," Affleck admitted. "Especially if you really do appreciate and want to be a support of the side that seems angriest, and the anger is being directed at you."
"I sort of decided 'well I'll just stay quiet'," he continued. "Mostly I've talked about it a little bit to honor, that like 'okay this is someone else's experience of this and it is not my experience, but I... you have to respect that someone else has an experience and take that to heart and allow for it to be as possible as your memory of that experience, you know?"
"I've also wanted to try to make certain delineations." he said, "because I think that most people don't really care to look at details of things and they go, 'so suddenly your name is being mentioned in a group of people..."
He said that while there has been "sweeping judgement", there has also been talk of how to even make the distinction "between the worst cases and sort of what is perceived as the tamest examples of it".
"[It] isn't about, 'Oh well this isn't so bad, and that's really horrible.' It's that it's systemic. It is accepted culturally at it's tamest manifestation of it and at it's worst, and that it all needs to be turned on it's head, eradicated, not allowed for, and that kind of like lightning bolt I think is effective."
Affleck paraphrased a speech by Frederick Douglass about what July 4th meant to the slaves: "This is not a time to be moderate in our dialogue - this is a time for fire and lightning."
"In some ways there was a moment where there had to be fire and lightening. There was like justifiable, absolute outrage, at long standing injustices that everyone thought was okay. And anybody who was benefiting from a system that favored men — white men, etc — and wasn't kicking and screaming and doing a whole lot about it, wasn't doing enough. Was to blame. Needs to apologize, needs to acknowledge it, needs to shut up and let other people do the talking, do the correcting, and bring justice to bear."
He questioned whether people cared or bothered to look into the details, and that commentators were happy enough to keep moving onto the next horrible example of how the "industry had been pretty gross."
"It is and remains a kind of ugly, difficult, painful period of, you know, in this community, and in the industry, and in the culture in general. And so for me it was pretty hard to sit by for years and feel like — even by people who I really like and respect, who didn't know me — sort of feel like piling on a little bit."
"And to have to explain it to people that I know and love — who even like if they say, 'Dude you're kidding me you, don't even have to explain this. I know who you are' — and still feel compelled to do that."
After the allegations came out, two more women employed on the set defended Affleck's conduct on set, insisting they had never seen anything out of the ordinary.
Affleck said he appreciated the gesture, but added he still bore responsibility either way as the "boss".
"I think it's a lesson that I had to sort of learn and be humble about; I was the producer. I was technically the boss."
However Ben's younger brother insisted he didn't even consider the set "a set" per se, as the project started as a "home movie with a friend" that grew and grew and grew.
"There was a ton of partying because that was the content of this at-times-documentary, at-times-mockumentary, so we're recording everything. It was confusing for everybody, and it was deliberately, and that's my responsibility," he admitted. "The intention was to have the crew as part of the movie. I don't know how much they knew they were part of the movie."
"It was a big mess, and it was not something that I would do again," he continued. "I really wouldn't... I would be way smarter, more sensible, more sensitive to like it being a work place if I were going to try to do this again."
"I think that you can't change the world if you don't let the world change you. I don't pretend to be changing the world in anyway; but I just mean like you aren't going to change the world's opinion of you. You aren't going to make anything good or put it into the world in a meaningful way if it's you're just set on transmit. You've got to be on receive sometimes. You gotta be open to people saying 'no man, you're not hearing us. That was out of control. You can't run a movie set that way. That was wrong.'"
When Dax's co-host Monica Padman weighed in and said the fact that women are capable of lying is never considered, Casey countered and argued that approach was not helpful.
"I wouldn't say that it's helpful to say that 'well women lie'. Or to approach the argument from the point of who is lying. It actually doesn't help," he said, comparing it to bickering kids who relentlessly accuse each other of lying.
"What really matters is you resolve this in a way without hitting each other and calling each other liars. It's not really the most important part of it."
He continued: "Are women paid 70c on the dollar? Are women constantly given a mountain of shit at work? Are men believed over women, and promoted over women? Are screenplays written with male leads, on and on and on? Yes, 100 per cent. That's really what is important and has to change, and I think is changing. Regardless of — and definitely regardless of how much I sit here and talk about it — all the talk and chatter, that shift is happening."
He said the next generation of kids were coming up like a tidal wave and would sweep through the social changes that have been so difficult for the generation preceding them.
"Like the NRA; it's been impossible for my generation to dismantle, but the next generation is going to be like: 'You're gone.' And the idea of having a gay president, it's like not even going to be a topic. Or having a female president might very well happen right now," he added laughing, with a nod to Elizabeth Warren, " especially because she's from Massachusetts where all good things originate."