Has there ever been a more scandalous Oscars? Amidst envelope mixups and memoriam video blunders, there was one incident that caused a whole different kind of controversy: Brie Larson refusing to clap during Casey Affleck's Oscar win.
Larson presented the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role to Affleck, but her reaction was far from thrilled. While she did offer a formal peck on the cheek and brief hug, she was one of the only people not applauding his win:
A Silent Protest?
To some, Larson's refusal to applaud Affleck was interpreted as a form of protest. In 2010, Affleck was sued by two women for alleged sexual assault. He had worked with the women on the film I'm Still Here. The lawsuits were settled out of court, and Affleck denies the claims to this day.
Larson is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, winning the Oscar for Best Actress the previous year for Room. Her character in the film was also a victim of sexual abuse, and Larson has used its publicity to help real-life victims. It's not difficult to see why she wouldn't want to show support for Affleck.
So was it intentional? Well, she hasn't outright admitted it— but she's certainly suggested as much. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Larson said that her actions that night said plenty:
"I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself. I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic."
Larson also presented the award for Best Actor to Affleck at the 2017 Golden Globes:
Was Denzel Protesting Too?
While all eyes were on Larson's staunch stance, there was something strange happening in the audience. Footage of Denzel Washington shaking his head, not clapping and even on the brim of tears suggested that perhaps he, too, was joining Larson's protest; or maybe he couldn't mask his disappointment at losing the award to Affleck.
Affleck thanked Washington in his speech, saying that while he hadn't met him before that night, he had learned how to act from watching Washington. The veteran actor seemed to shake his head, and looked close to tears.
However, it also appears that the Academy used the same footage of Washington during both the announcement of the winner, and parts of Affleck's speech. This makes it difficult to tell exactly what Washington was reacting to.
During his Golden Globe win, Affleck also made a reference to one of Washington's award speeches, prompting Washington to flash him a thumbs up.
What did you think of Brie Larson's reaction to Casey Affleck's Oscar win?
(Source: Vanity Fair)