Ben Affleck has given former ESPN personality Bill Simmons' new HBO talk show a lively start with a five-minute, expletive-filled rant on "Deflategate."
During an interview on the Wednesday debut episode of "Any Given Wednesday," Affleck passionately criticizes the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for suspending New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for using underinflated balls during a 2015 playoff game. The New England-raised Affleck calls the issue a "ridiculous smear campaign" and questions Goodell's integrity.
Affleck's appearance is being heavily discussed on social media. Some say he appeared to be drunk, others call him an angry and passionate Patriots fan.
I think Ben Affleck is drunk. His face looks red and puffy and he seems to be slurring.— carlos saez (@carlos_saez) June 23, 2016
How drunk was Ben Affleck on Bill Simmons's new show?— Jeff Johnson (@BigJohnson177) June 23, 2016
Liked the show but it seemed as if Ben Affleck was slurring drunk or having some sort of seizure... #AnyGivenWednesday— Mike Terril (@MikeTerril) June 23, 2016
What is Ben Affleck on? Sounds like he accidentally got drunk at lunch then had to go back to work.— Nick Schwerdt (@nick_schwerdt) June 23, 2016
A representative for Affleck didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Affleck has acknowledged treatment for alcohol addiction more than a decade ago.
Simmons tweeted that the interview was taped in the late morning and Affleck was simply "fired up."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.