“Manchester By The Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan defended his friend Casey Affleck after a student journalist published an opinion-based article slamming him for condoning sexual violence and sexual abuse by casting Ben’s younger brother in a film.

The opinion piece, which was published by Connor Aberle in Wesleyan University’s college newspaper, The Wesleyan Argus, highlights the problem of an alleged sexual harasser winning an Academy Award. “Many may argue that the award of best actor belongs to the actor who gave the strongest performance regardless of their personal integrity,” he writes, “However, winning an award for a profession reflects on not only one’s ability, but implicitly endorses their moral character as well.”

Casey Affleck was slapped with two lawsuits from two women alleging that he sexually harassed them. The civil suit was settled out of court on undisclosed terms. Neither Affleck nor those involved in the suit can discuss the allegations nor the terms of settlement.

Aberle also highlighted the fact that Affleck was cast in “Manchester By The Sea” without auditioning for the role. “A famous actor’s connections enable them to continue their success,” Aberle wrote, “and we must be cautious about praising enablers, especially when they help sexual harassers.”

Lonergan wrote a piece in The Argus slamming the student journalist for his opinion piece and deeming it as slander. The director, who is also an alumnus of Wesleyan University, wrote, “Only the author’s presumed youth can possibly excuse his deeply offensive display of ignorance, and warped PC-fueled sense of indignation.”

Lonergan even defended Affleck’s allegations citing that he was never proven to be guilty of the crime that the women accused him of. Moreover, his friend has denied the allegations several times. “In other words nothing was proved or disproved,” he said.

The 41-year-old actor won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “Manchester By The Sea.” However, soon after bagging the coveted award, Affleck faced an online backlash. Many people felt Denzel Washington should have won the award for his performance in “Fences,” while others felt that the Academy Award shouldn’t have been given to someone that has been accused of sexual harassment.