Patrick McConnell | Contributing Writer
One’s sexual preference does not equate to sexual assault allegations; this is a fact that the general public should already be aware of. Someone’s sexuality certainly should not be an excuse to allegations as grave and despicable as sexual misconduct towards a minor. Multi award-winning actor and director Kevin Spacey needs to understand this fact.
In October, actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused Spacey of making sexual advances toward Rapp in 1986 when Rapp was 14. Spacey, who was 26 at the time, allegedly invited Rapp to a party at his apartment following their work in Broadway. It was then that Spacey is accused of having “picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance,” according to Buzzfeed News.
Rapp is reported to have suppressed this night for over three decades before these accusations came about. Buzzfeed News states that “Rapp’s frustration, anger, and incredulity with the sexual boundary he said Spacey crossed with him grew.” It was watching Spacey host the Tony Awards this past June that made Rapp finally cave in.
“I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it,” Rapp said. “It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Hours following the Buzzfeed story of Rapp accusing Spacey of unwanted sexual advances, Spacey released a statement claiming not to recall the incident specifically, but offering his apology nonetheless. He claims that it was him being drunk that must have caused him to have done what he is accused of doing.
“I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” Spacey says, according to the Vulture.
The allegations toward the beloved actor known for American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, and House of Cards isn’t even the worst part. There has always been and always will be stories of sexual assault in Hollywood. What makes this story different is that Kevin Spacey tried to come out as gay to distract the public from this story.
Spacey tried to change the topic from him sexually assaulting a minor to him coming out of the closet. When confronted about his accused actions, Spacey is reported to have said, “This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life,” referencing his secret sexuality.
“I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior,” Spacey said on Twitter.
While coming out as gay is usually something that should be celebrated through acceptance and pride, there is nothing to be proud about sexually assaulting someone. People interpreted his coming out as an “attempt to distract from the seriousness of the charge that he had preyed on an underage target,” according to the Vox.
The attempt to come out as a gay man in order to cover up the real story is an insult to the entire LGBT+ community. Spacey failed at this attempt, and only got more backlash for equating being queer with being a pedophile.
Even if this wasn’t his intention, he came out as gay coincidentally following an accusation of sexual misconduct. It’s as if he was trying to excuse his actions as him just embracing his sexuality. This, everyone should know, is not and should not be the case.
Even more allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of Spacey have come out since Rapp’s interview. According to The Sun, Spacey has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances towards numerous additional men, including Tony Montana, Harry Dreyfuss, House of Cards employees, and anonymous performers.
Spacey has been accused of over 12 nonconsensual advances toward sex and ‘groping.’ The fact that this is a man accused of assaulting men is not any worse or better if it was a man targeting women. The fact that they are men doesn’t make them any less of victims, just like the fact that Spacey is a man who allegedly assaulted men doesn’t make him any less of a predator.
It’s time that Hollywood abusers are held accountable to their actions. Any attempt to dissuade from the fact that a person is an abuser makes them an abuser and a coward. Kevin Spacey, who allegedly assaulted many men in the entertainment industry, is a coward for trying to distract the public from this truth.