I really want to give Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt in most things, but this latest quote from him just sounds too damning. GQ named him their Filmmaker of the Year, so of course he had to reflect on an era when his fortune was not so good. I’m talking, of course, about the Bennifer years.
Ben’s already talked about wanting to erase 2003 from his memory, but apparently those recollections are seared in, because he wound up talking about another famous figure from 2002. Warning: This might make you like Ben Affleck less. He basically complains that the media lambasted him for dating Jennifer Lopez but let Scott Peterson off the hook.
Let me refresh your memory: Scott Peterson is the Bay Area man who murdered his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son. Yeah. Let’s roll the quote:
“At the time, I knew on some level, ‘This is insane.’ What was that guy’s name who killed his wife and dumped her off the side of a boat? … Peterson. I remember thinking he actually gets slightly better treatment than I do in the press.
“At least they had to say ‘alleged killer.’ Unfortunately there’s an aspect of that that’s like one of those fights you see on YouTube where one of them falls down and then a bunch of people who were standing around come over and kick the person. They don’t know them, they have no involvement in the fight, but they recognize a moment that they can get a free shot in, and for some people it’s just too much to resist. And that was definitely me at that point. I was the guy. I was the designated person to loathe.”
That’s just a really unfortunate comparison for Ben Affleck to make, and something he should’ve either said off the record or bitten his tongue about. For the most part, the media outlets covering both stories came from two very different places—news versus entertainment. Sure, there was some overlap on each, but the latter’s aim was to be more mean-spirited. The news is expected to be impartial; gossip sites are commenting on the zeitgeist. So Ben has a point; people were a lot meaner to him about making awful movies with a curvy pop star, because it’s so much more trivial and easy to attack than murder.
But to that end, he should have found someone — anyone — else to compare his situation to. I don’t mean to be one of those critical pop culture blogs, but this was just not the thing to say. Or at least, a regular person could get away with a dark joke like this, but not a celebrity.