SALT LAKE CITY — Director and actor Ben Affleck, who was scheduled to appear at next month’s FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, will not be attending, event organizers announced on Thursday. Attendees who paid to see Affleck can be refunded on FanX’s site.
“Unfortunately Ben Affleck will not be able to attend our event this year,” FanX organizers said in a prepared statement. “Even though it is disappointing that he can’t join us we hope we all can all join together in wishing him health, success, and the best for him and his family. We look forward to another opportunity to meet him in the future.”
As national news outlets reported, Affleck entered into a rehabilitation program for alcohol addiction this week.
“Affleck's estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, was photographed walking into Affleck's home on Wednesday with an unidentified woman,” CNN reported. “The three were later photographed getting into an SUV driven by Garner with Affleck in the backseat.”
Affleck completed treatment for alcoholism in 2001, and again in 2017. In a Facebook post from last year, Affleck wrote: “I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step.”
Bryan Brandenburg, FanX’s co-founder, told the Deseret News he is encouraged by attendees’ responses on Facebook, which have been respectful of Affleck’s situation.
“People are kind and understanding, and understand that, you know, sometimes life happens with these celebrities,” Brandenburg said. “We try to be really careful on how we book and minimize cancellations, much more so than other events, but occasionally it does happen. And the response, I just so respect because there's a lot of compassion there. You can tell it's a family state because they're more concerned about Ben's family than they are their own personal gratification.”