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Ben Affleck addresses Grammys meme, noting 'tremendous stigma' on addiction

By Melanie Uson Published Mar 18, 2023 3:00 pm

Ben Affleck had a good time during the Grammys, despite him appearing otherwise. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor and filmmaker responded to his Grammys meme, where people poke fun at his bored and miserable-looking face. Contrary to the meme, Affleck revealed he was enjoying the event. 

“I had a good time at the Grammys. My wife was going, and I thought, ‘Well, there’ll be good music. It might be fun.’ At movie award shows, it’s speeches and, like, sound-mixing webinars. But I thought this would be fun,” he said. 

The 50-year-old Deep Water star then shared the moment when he was captured on camera. 

“I saw [Grammy host Trevor Noah approach] and I was like, ‘Oh, God.’ They were framing us in this shot, but I didn’t know they were rolling.” 

“I leaned into her [Jennifer Lopez] and I was like, ‘As soon they start rolling, I’m going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor.’ She goes, ‘You better f---ing not leave.’ That’s a husband-and-wife thing. I mean, some of it is, I’m like, ‘All right, who is this act?’ Like, I don’t keep up,” he continued. 

Affleck admitted that in previous years, he gets bored, pissed off, and drunk many times when attending events, but it wasn’t the case in the recent Grammys. 

“I’ve gone to events and been pissed off. I’ve gone and been bored. I’ve gone to award shows and been drunk, a bunch. Nobody ever once said I’m drunk.” 

“[But at the Grammys] they were like, ‘He’s drunk.’ And I thought, that’s interesting.” 

He then went on to tackle the “stigma” that clings to acknowledging addiction.

“That raises a whole other thing about whether or not it’s wise to acknowledge addiction because there’s a lot of compassion,” he said. 

He furthered, emphasizing the consequence of the stigma: “But there is still a tremendous stigma, which is often quite inhibiting. I do think it disincentivizes people from making their lives better.”  

Affleck has always been vocal about his recovery from alcohol addiction, which he shared was prompted by personal conflicts, such as his divorce from his ex-wife Jennifer Garner.  

“When my life got stressful, which principally had to do with the disappointment and the pain that the divorce caused my children, that affected me profoundly,” he said in an interview with PEOPLE. 

“I didn’t want to see them hurt. I found myself drinking more and more at night at home by myself. It was something I was doing to avoid dealing with painful feelings.” 

Amid his recovery, Affleck shared how he feels good when someone reaches out to him for help. "I became—out of no desire of my own—one of the poster boys for actor alcoholism and recovery and the whole thing."

"And the best part about that is that sometimes people call me up and they’re like, 'Hey, can you help me out?' And it makes me feel so good to do that,' the Gone Girl actor said.

"The big trick of 12-step is the reason they want you to help other people is because it actually helps you more. And often what I’ll say to people is: 'I would avoid [your addiction] coming out if I were you,'" he continued.

"You don’t need to be anybody’s poster child. You don’t need to f—ing tell anybody. That’s why there’s two words on the front of the book. They’re just as important, both of them: Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s always anonymous."

Currently, Affleck has been busy with his upcoming film Air which he directed and co-stars in. It tells the story of basketball legend Michael Jordan and his partnership with Nike, forging the revolution of sports and contemporary culture. It is slated to be released in April.