At the moment, there is a thorough scrutiny underway related to the experiences that female actresses and other females working in the entertainment business go through behind the closed doors. While the Hollywood is still reeling under the impact of Harvey Weinstein’s long-term sexual overtures and the absolute scale is yet not determined, now other male superstars are also facing the heat from the women with whom they might not have behaved well in the past.
One of the biggest names who has got wrapped in this murky situation is Ben Affleck. The Batman star is facing rising number of allegations of sexual harassment; we wonder if these things will adversely impact his films.
The big question is the kind of blow that this Ben Affleck scandal might deal to the Box-Office prospects of the Justice League. This is how things are turning out to be.
What Had Happened…
Just in case you have been caught napping, this entire scandal started when Ben Affleck chose to express his stance on the Harvey Weinstein issue on the social media. Weinstein is credited as someone who was instrumental in helping Ben Affleck get the stardom that he enjoys today. It is the Miramax film studio of Weinstein that created films such as Good Will Hunting and Chasing Amy which catapulted him into a star status.
Affleck tried to condemn the way Weinstein misused his power and authority for sexual overtures, however, contrary to many others, he wrongly estimated the power and scope of social media and was in no time dealing with sexual harassment accusations against himself:
Hilarie Burton is married to Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who used to work as an MTV VJ on TRL during the early 2000s. Affleck groped her during an in-camera session. When Affleck faced the accusation, he didn’t deny it, rather, he offered an apology:
While Affleck’s response might be a well-timed effort at damage control, as seen above, things are shaping up and now a second lady has come up to accuse Affleck about sexual misbehavior.
Justice League In Trouble?
This raises the crucial question: Whether Justice League will be affected negatively from all these controversies engulfing Ben Affleck now?
The general perception is that no, these won’t have much of an impact on the box-office tidings of the Justice League and there are ample reasons for that.
The first reason is that Justice League is a huge landmark comic book “Event movie” and the personal shenanigans of one of the actors from the movie are not going to matter to the scores of the young fans who are going to be in theaters only to watch the Justice League based on the DC Superheroes appeal.
Then there is the fact that Ben Affleck is just a part of the film. The film offers a lot of diversity to the DCFU, and there are superheroes of color such as Aquaman (played by Jason Momoa) and also Cyborg played by Ray Fisher. Then there is the latest pop-culture queen Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot. Therefore, even if Ben Affleck issue manages to annoy some viewers, there are going to be plenty of reasons to watch the film because of Gadot, Fisher, Momoa as well as the LGBTQ actor Ezra Miller.
Last, but, not the least, there is an indication that Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman is more of a cover against a possible fan outrage. As one of the tweets by a fan (deleted now, but, after plenty of likes/retweets), there is this “Batman doesn’t apologize’ concept, and an unsubstantiated minor sexual assault incident can’t overtake the excitement of seeing Batman on the big screen.
A lot of people are furious at the notion (as hinted by the fact that the tweet got deleted). However, the Batman is like a massive rock, and the franchise seems to be unaffected and unlikely to suffer any serious damage. At max, WB might adopt the typical Hollywood stand of protecting the product, first and foremost. In case the allegations against Affleck kept mounting then the star might not be a part of the upcoming press tour so that the people involved don’t face any unpleasant situation. After the release of the film, this won’t shock us if we hear about Affleck exiting the Batman franchise.
Conclusively, the scandal about Ben Affleck is just one of the many things that are a part of a nervous final stretch before the Justice League hits the cinemas. In fact, before getting the responses to the film, Joss Whedon needs to finish it first after Zack Snyder’s exit.
Justice League is scheduled to release on November 17th.