Can we just leave Ben Affleck alone? In defense of Resting Ben Face at the Grammys
There seemed to be just one thing on the lips – or fingertips – of the Twitterverse following Sunday's Grammy Awards: Ben Affleck's Resting Ben Face.
The actor/filmmaker accompanied his wife, Jennifer Lopez, a presenter for the evening's festivities at Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena. And somehow Affleck's face got more attention than Lopez's stunning Gucci gown.
The (unconfirmed) Twitter consensus was that Affleck, 50, wasn't having any fun on music's biggest night.
"however bad of a day you’re having, I promise you’re not as miserable as Ben Affleck at the Grammys right now," one post read.
Added another: "I’m sorry but this is one miserable man!"
Ben Affleck's face has drawn reactions in the past
It's not the first time Affleck's face has been so scrutinized. In 2016 "Sad Affleck" became a meme after Affleck kept quiet during an interview paired with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" costar Henry Cavill, a moment made more dramatic with the addition of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence."
Are the jokes clever? Certainly. But for me that wit is eclipsed when you recognize the the target is a real person. Sure, an actor, a celebrity, but an actual person nonetheless.
Maybe he was miserable. I've been to award shows, and they can be extremely long. Or maybe there was something going on that made it difficult for the star to maintain a smile for the length of the entire event.
Or maybe he was having a great time and that is just his face! Months ago I fielded concern from a coworker about my appearance. I'm just not wearing makeup today.
Ben Affleck has talked about the scrutiny, how it affects his kids
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published last year, Affleck spoke about "really struggling" in the early 2000s when "People were just writing vicious, awful, hateful stuff about me all the time".
"I got to a place where (the public perception) was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring," Affleck said. "But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the internet themselves, that’s the difficult part. Even the 'Sad Affleck' meme – that was funny to me. I mean, there’s nobody who hasn’t felt that way at a junket. But then my kids see it and I think, 'Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?' That’s really tough."
So maybe it's time to stop answering the Bat Signal for Sad Affleck content and commentary.
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