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
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
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
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
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
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
Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) October 30, 2017
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
Bye bye, Spacey goodbye, it’s your turn to cry, that’s why we’ve gotta say goodbye. #ROSEARMY
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 30, 2017
No no no no no! You do not get to “choose” to hide under the rainbow! Kick rocks! https://t.co/xJDGAxDjxz
— Official Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) October 30, 2017
That Kevin Spacey statement. Nope. Absolutely not. Nope.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
— Zachary Quinto (@ZacharyQuinto) October 30, 2017
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
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
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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