As more stories of sexual misconduct emerge in (and out) of Hollywood, both the聽alleged perpetrators聽and bystanders are speaking out about their roles in a world where, for many years, women聽were silenced. Ben Affleck,聽who has been accused聽of聽groping actress Hilarie Burton聽on camera聽earlier in his career, found himself in the hot seat on last night鈥檚聽The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where he spoke about the groping allegation as well as the overall state of the industry.

After facing criticism for 鈥going easy鈥 on聽Louis C.K.聽when stories emerged about the comedian, Colbert decided to take a different approach with Affleck. After asking the聽Justice League聽star about his feelings on 2017 being the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough movie聽Good Will Hunting, Colbert segued into the allegations against the film鈥檚 executive producer,聽Harvey Weinstein, and the conversation聽turned serious.

鈥淭his is a comedy show, correct?鈥 Affleck said, before addressing the subject at hand. 鈥淔or me, it was awful to see the extent of these terrible crimes, and it was hideous. I haven鈥檛 worked for Harvey for more than 15 years, but nonetheless I felt this attachment. I did movies like聽Good Will Hunting聽and聽Shakespeare in Love聽and聽Chasing Amy聽and some of the early movies that I really loved doing when I still was totally brand new. It sort of tainted that a little bit to realize that while we were having these experiences and making those movies, there were people who were suffering and dealing with awful experiences.鈥

The Oscar winner said that he鈥檚 donating every residual check (the money actors make years later on movies that play in rerun) to the sexual assault support organization聽RAINN聽and the charity聽Film Independent, which supports independent filmmakers. 鈥淚 didn鈥檛 want to cash a check from the guy, and I thought, well, maybe I can still feel聽okay about it if it鈥檚 going to a good cause.鈥

When Colbert brought up the accusations against his guest, Affleck took the opportunity to apologize, reflect, and speak in support of victims of assault.

鈥淲hat I was accused of by a woman was of touching her breasts while I gave her a hug,鈥 Affleck explained. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 remember it, but I absolutely apologize for it. I certainly don鈥檛 think she鈥檚 lying or making it up.鈥 The 45-year old father of three went on to say that all men need to be aware of what they are putting out there聽and of how they behave toward women, saying, 鈥淚f I was ever part of the problem, I want to change, I want to be part of the solution.鈥

He continued: 鈥淚 think the most important thing to do is support the voices coming forward, believe them, and create a business where more women are empowered and in a place so less of this happens and so there鈥檚 a way of reporting this stuff so people can feel safe doing.鈥

As for聽the claims聽that聽Affleck knew what had happened between his costar Rose McGowan and Weinstein,聽the actor told聽the聽Todayshowon Friday morning that he supports her. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 really want to get into other people鈥檚 individual stories because I feel like those are their stories and they are entitled to tell as much or as little of those as they want,鈥 he said. 鈥淚 believe Rose, I support her, I really like and admire her tenacity and wish her the best.鈥

What do you think about Ben Affleck鈥檚 public apology? Tell us @BritandCo.

(Photo via聽Neilson Barnard/Getty)