Oscar winner Casey Affleck has withdrawn from presenting the Best Actress Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.
The Manchester by the Sea star's withdrawal was confirmed by Oscar organisers the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Affleck, who won the Best Actor Oscar last year for his performance in the grief drama, would have presented this year's Best Actress award, as per Oscars tradition.
His withdrawal comes at a time of increased interest in the out-of-court settlements and non-disclosure agreements reached following allegations of inappropriate behaviour by him on the set of the 2010 film I'm Still Here, which he directed. Casey Affleck denied the allegations. The controversy also overshadowed his win at the Oscars.
The line-up of presenters for the Oscars has yet to be announced. The ceremony takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday March 4.
Entertainment website Deadline, which first reported news of Casey Affleck's withdrawal, said it was told by "sources" that the actor "did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category and that is why he made the proactive move".
"He was in a no-win situation, with all the attention surrounding the #MeToo movement," the website added.
"The spectre of Affleck presenting would have created controversy."