Ben Affleck hits back at The New Yorker after an article about his ‘great sadness’ and ‘gargantuan’ back tattoo

  • Actor Ben Affleck responded to a New Yorker article about his “great sadness” and back tattoo.
  • Affleck said he was “doing just fine” and had thick skin.

On Thursday, actor Ben Affleck responded to a New Yorker article about his “great sadness,” body shape, and giant back tattoo by saying he was “just fine” and had “thick skin.”

Affleck has recently been the subject of talk online, which has centered particularly around his back tattoo of a phoenix. The tattoo had long been rumoured to exist after his ex-wife Jennifer Garner commented on it in 2016, but pictures emerged earlier this month that displayed it to the world (Affleck had once claimed it was a temporary tattoo for a movie).

Affleck remained silent about much of the gleeful press banter about his tattoo, until The New Yorker jumped into the fray with an article titled “The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck.”

Affleck tweeted at The New Yorker, “I’m doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos.”

The New Yorker article highlights Affleck’s successes – Oscar wins for writing “Good Will Hunting” in 1998 and best picture for “Argo” in 2013 – before diving into his “despondent” look in recent viral photos.

“These depressed-Affleck images can arouse both amusement and a sense of poignancy, a touch of Schadenfreude as well as something like sympathy,” the article says.

The article proceeds to comment on Affleck’s body shape: “His gut is pooching outward in a way that, in a more enlightened country like, say, France, would perhaps be considered virile, not unlike the lusty Gérard Depardieu in his prime but, in fitness-fascist America, tends to read as Homer Simpsonesque.”

The New Yorker concludes by contending that the “sad” image of Affleck on a beach in Honolulu, “gargantuan” tattoo clearly visible, represents his “fall” – and not just his.

“The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man,” it says. “There is something about this exhausted father that reflexively induces panic.”

Affleck seems to think The New Yorker might be reading a bit too much into it.