Kevin Spacey’s choice to apologise for abuse allegations while publicly coming out as a gay man is proof that the Weinstein era is far from being over says, Jennifer McShane
House Of Cards actor Kevin Spacey has come under fire after coming out as gay while apologising to a 14-year-old actor he allegedly “seduced” at a party in 1986. Anthony Rapp, who now appears in television series Star Trek: Discovery, claims Spacey invited him and a friend to a party at an apartment, where he picked up the then-14-year-old before lying down on top of him.
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago,” Spacey said, in a statement released on Twitter. “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
The allegations are disturbing enough and Spacey made an apology – that much can be said. If he had stopped there, perhaps the words might have been rendered genuine and meant something to Rapp. But Spacey also used the statement to come out as a gay man, which rendered the apology hollow.
At the end of his statement, Spacey wrote: “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
Being gay is irrelevant. And using this as an opportunity to comment on his sexuality seems a cynical move to deflect from the allegations. He’s conflating two hugely different things under one umbrella. It’s damaging and grossly unfair to a community that has fought long and hard for their respective rights to have their sexual orientation spoken about in the same breath as alleged abuse and Spacey should know this. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
His personal life and sexual orientation have been the object of speculation for decades and Spacey has maintained a dignified silence about them up to now, which garnered him much respect. Now, without even talking about the allegations themselves or the harm to Rapp, he has missed the point entirely and tried to make the conversation about something else. It’s disturbing and deeply troubling that in a post-Weinstein era – even after the implications are still being felt by so many victims – that this is yet another lets-try-sweep-it-under-the-carpet example of the very attitudes to abuse we’re trying to banish.
Spacey has truly pulled a Frank Underwood in the worst possible way. So perhaps the best news to come out of all this mess is that he’ll no longer be able to hide behind his evil on-screen alter-ego. Netflix has pulled the plug on the season. We might expect this sort of behaviour from Underwood but expect a hell of a lot better from Spacey.