"Thank you very much. I would like to thank the Academy,” Affleck joked. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding! This is the one that counts."
Affleck, who received a standing ovation, alluded to his career lows before asking the crowd to applaud the other directors nominated for the honor.
"I do want to thank the Broadcast Film Critics Association," he said. "It actually is very, very cool for me. There was a time where the Ben Affleck Critics' Award was a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch, so this is a very, very cool and exciting thing, particularly to me, because there are so many unbelievable directors in this category who I can only look up to, and so many who didn't get nominated, and I'm really humbled by that. Can we give a round applause for the directors?"
Affleck won the honor despite having some stiff competition to contend with. Stephen Spielberg (“Lincoln”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), Tom Hooper (“Les Miserables”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) were all nominated for the award.
The 40-year-old concluded his speech by thanking wife Jennifer Garner and their three children, Violet, 7, Seraphina, 4, and Samuel, 11 months.
"I want to thank my kids and I want to thank my wife, without whom I would not be anywhere, much less here. Thank you very much."
The Academy’s failure to include Affleck in the Best Director lineup has shocked many -- the Boston native was considered by many to be a shoe-in for the category.
A number of stars have also expressed outrage over Affleck being overlooked. “Silver Linings Playbook” star Bradley Cooper told the Today show that he “got robbed.”
Garner’s ex-husband, Scott Foley, took to Twitter to protest the snub as well.
"Travesty and injustice? A bit dramatic. But Affleck getting overlooked for a best director nod is just plain silly. That’s right, silly. "
Ang Lee told Entertainment Tonight that he expected Affleck and Bigelow, who was also overlooked, to be included in the directing race for sure.
"It's not that I don't think the others should have been nominated -- I'm happy for everyone including myself -- but these two seemed to be the sure thing from the beginning,” he said.
Although Affleck may not have gotten a directing nod, “Argo” is up for seven awards, including Best Picture.
In 1998, he and best friend Matt Damon took home the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the drama “Good Will Hunting.”