January 25, 2018 03:50 PM

 

Casey Affleck will no longer be attending the 90th Academy Awards, where he was expected to present the Oscar for Best Actress.

The Oscar winner, 42, has told the Academy that he will not be appearing at the awards ceremony, PEOPLE has confirmed.

“We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year,” the Academy said in a statement.

Traditionally, the winner of the previous year’s Best Actor Oscar presents the award to the current Best Actress winner. Affleck won the award in 2017 for his role in Manchester By the Sea.

Affleck has been mired in controversy after past allegations of inappropriate behavior resurfaced before his Oscar win.

Two sexual-harassment lawsuits were filed against Affleck in 2010 by two women who worked with him on the film I’m Still Here. Affleck has denied the allegations, and settled the suits out of court for undisclosed amounts. In the settlement, the actor did not admit any guilt. He and his accusers are barred from discussing details of the case.

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When Brie Larson, 27, presented Affleck with the Oscar for Best Actor, the actress refrained from clapping while the rest of the audience gave Affleck a standing ovation. “I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself,” she later told Vanity Fair“. “I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic.”

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In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Affleck — the younger brother of Ben Affleck — addressed the criticism.

“There’s really nothing I can do about it,” Affleck told the paper. “Other than live my life the way I know I live it and speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”

 

Affleck told the Globe that he is not permitted to speak about the now-settled lawsuits, and said that the people condemning him on social media don’t know the facts of the situation.

“I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent,” he added. “Everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else.”

The 90th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will air live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

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