Welp, it happened. Casey Affleck won an Academy Award for Manchester By The Sea. The scruffy actor is a divisive figure in Hollywood. Clearly, he's got talent. But there are some murky sexual abuse allegations lurking in past that prevent him from rising to beloved status.
To boot, Affleck, 41, had stiff competition in the category of Best Actor. Namely, Denzel Washington. Denzel Washington is pretty intimidating competition, especially when he's nominated for a film like Fences. (Washington both starred and directed in the film.) This was really Casey Affleck versus Denzel Washington, and Washington fans aren't pleased with Affleck's win. In Manchester By The Sea, Affleck played a man who returned to his hometown — Manchester — after his brother's death. It's a melancholy film with critical acclaim. Usually, films like these sweep the Oscars. Affleck has already received a Golden Globe for role. So, all signs pointed to Casey. Nevertheless, Twitter ain't happy.
And there seems to be evidence that others aren't happy about the win, either. Brie Larson, who announced the award, gave a brief smirk, which, to be fair, could have just been a facial tic.
Even Denzel Washington looked a little disgruntled.
Affleck then gave a fairly simple speech. Some would call it disappointing. In the interest of diplomacy, I'll stick with simple.
"Dammit," he began. He then acknowledged his competition: "One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington and I just met him tonight. Thank you." As one does, Affleck thanked the various people involved in the production, and seemed apologetic that he didn't have anything "more meaningful" to say.
"Man, I wish I had something bigger and more meaningful to say," he said. "I'm just really proud to be a part of this community in general." He then said, sweetly, "it means a lot to me" and also thanks Matt Damon.
Affleck's detractors weren't pleased with the speech, either. In this era, any speech is an opportunity to make a political statement. (Almost everything down to the dresses is political at a high-profile ceremony like the Academy Awards.) But Affleck's speech neglected to wander into political territory. Nor was it sweet, charming or funny. It simply was. Emily Nussbaum, a television critic for The New Yorker, admitted that Affleck was probably talented, but the speech was lacking.
And Chrissy Teigen appeared to be asleep during the whole thing.
Oh, and Piers Morgan loved the speech. (Do with that information what you will.)
See for yourself how the whole shebang went down — watch Affleck's entire speech, below.