The Real Problem With Kevin Spacey’s Sexual Harassment ‘Apology’

Following the sexual misconduct allegations several actresses have made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a conversation about sexual harassment in Hollywood has begun, and many stars are continuing to come forward with their stories.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Kevin Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was a minor. The House of Cards star has since responded to the accusations, but his statement has outraged members of LBGTQ community, as well as fellow celebrities.

Here’s what Spacey had to say about the accusations and the backlash he has received for his response.

Rapp’s allegations against Spacey

Anthony Rapp smiling and standing at a premiere

Anthony Rapp | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The Rent actor said he went to a party at Spacey’s house in 1986 when the two were both starring in Broadway plays. Rapp, who was 14 at the time, explained that he stayed in a bedroom and watched TV because he was the only teenager there. He told Buzzfeed that at the end of night Spacey came into the room, laid him on the bed and climbed on top of him.

He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, “What’s going on?” And then he lays down on top of me. He was trying to seduce me. I don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.

Rapp initially came forward with his story in 2001, but declined to name Spacey. He felt compelled to tell the entire story now though after so many others have spoken out about their similar experiences with men in power.

Actor’s response to claim

Spacey responded to Rapp’s claim with a statement via Twitter, saying that he doesn’t recall the incident, but apologizes if it occurred. What he then confessed about himself in the tweet has garnered some serious backlash.

The problem with Spacey’s statement

Actor/producer Kevin Spacey speaks on stage at the Cars, Arts & Beats: A Night Out With 'Baby Driver' event at the Petersen Automotive Museum on

Kevin Spacey | Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Almost immediately after the tweet, Spacey came under fire for it.

The actor’s choice to conflate being gay with predatory sexual behavior towards a minor has many up in arms. Unlike other celebs who come out and are applauded for their courage, Spacey addressing these two issues together was not well received at all.

Gay activist criticizes Spacey

 Peter Tatchell arrives at St Margaret's Church to attend the funeral for Tony Benn on March 27, 2014 in London, England

Peter Tatchell | Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Guardian that he’s troubled by how Spacey used his response as a crutch to finally address his sexual orientation. He said:

It is tragic that it has taken allegations of sexual harassment for Kevin Spacey to finally come out as gay, after not disclosing his sexuality for decades. It is even worse that he mixes up his sexuality with inappropriate behavior. His gayness is irrelevant. It’s his actions that have prompted concern.

GLADD president slams Spacey

Others in the LGBTQ community have slammed Spacey as well, including president and chief executive officer of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” she said. “This is not a coming out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”

Hollywood outraged by apology

Many in Hollywood are not at all pleased with Spacey’s response either and have expressed their outrage over it via social media, including Billy Eichner, Zachary Quinto, Rose McGowan, and more.

Spacey will no longer receive special Emmy award

Kevin Spacey attends the European Premiere of Sony Pictures "Baby Driver" on June 21, 2017 in London, England.

Kevin Spacey | Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Following Rapp’s accusations, the International TV Academy released an official statement that Spacey would not receive the Emmy Founders Award.

“The International Academy has announced today that in light of recent events, it will not honor Kevin Spacey with the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award,” the statement read.

Production on House of Cards suspended

Frank Underwood leaning over the desk in the Oval Office, looking directly at the camera

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards | Netflix

Additional fallout after the claims of sexual misconduct include the fate of Spacey’s hit show, House of Cards. Netflix initially announced that the series would conclude following the upcoming sixth season. However, less than 24 hours later, Media Rights Capital and Netflix released a statement to Deadline that production on the series had been suspended indefinitely.

“MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew,” the statement read.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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