Kevin Spacey Is the Latest Hollywood Giant Accused of Sexual Misconduct

After Harvey Weinstein’s lengthy career in sexual harassment was exposed to the public, others in Hollywood are facing the same scrutiny. The latest is Kevin Spacey, who was accused of assaulting then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp in 1986.

Spacey’s reaction to the accusation was to come out as gay, a decision that’s sparking enraged responses across the internet — as well it should, because it’s a sleazy attempt at deflecting a very serious allegation of sexual abuse.

Rapp, who was a child actor, says he ended up alone in a bedroom with Spacey after a party when he got bored during the event and retreated to watch television. He claims Spacey picked him up, threw him on the bed and lay down on top of him, after which he “wriggled away.”

Rapp lived with these events weighing heavily on him over the years, especially when he had to interact with Spacey — until Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates of #MeToo.

While it’s primarily women in Hollywood who have been speaking out about sexual harassment and assault, some men have commented as well. Terry Crews, for instance, spoke out about a “high level” executive who harassed him. It’s notable that both Crews and Rapp were particularly vulnerable to assault — one because he’s a black man, and the other because he was just a child at the time.

Rapp’s age must be stressed in this case because it makes the situation particularly grotesque. Spacey was 26 at the time of the alleged incident — old enough to know that molesting a 14-year-old boy is not acceptable.

Because he wasn’t an adult, Rapp — like other child stars working closely with adults — was especially at risk of harassment and aware that speaking out could have consequences. After all, accusing a powerful adult rising star could have ended Rapp’s career, or made it extremely difficult for him to find work.

If people were hoping for a reasonable response from Spacey, that’s not what they got. Instead, the actor, who has been notoriously coy about his sexuality, decided to use this moment to come out as a gay man.

If responding to an accusation of child molestation with news about your sex life seems like a pretty bad way to handle those accusations, you aren’t the only one who thinks so: Spacey is being heavily criticized for trying to spin this moment by focusing on his sexuality.

Spacey’s move carries a particularly sharp sting for gay men, who have spent years hearing that they’re sexual predators who are out to molest young boys. The attitude that gay men are deviant and dangerous has been a cultural meme for a very long time, and it’s been used as an excuse to persecute, harass and exclude gay men from public life.

Being gay doesn’t make you a pedophile — but an accused pedophile announcing that he’s gay brings  up this hateful lie all over again.

Spacey also tried to excuse the incident by claiming that he was drunk and didn’t remember it. Blaming sexual assault on alcohol is another popular activity among men trying to evade responsibility for their actions. Being drunk isn’t an excuse for failing to obtain consent — and it’s also not an excuse for pedophilia.

While Spacey may think that coming out as gay will act as a shield, cloaking him from criticism and earning him the support of fellow LGBQT Hollywood stars and the larger gay community, he’s wrong. It’s not okay to use a coming out announcement to sidestep responsibility for sexual violence.

And if Spacey thinks that reiterating the meme that gay men prey on young boys is going to win him favor with the community, he’s in for a surprise.

Photo credit: Paul Hudson

52 comments

Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thanks

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Karen S
Karen Swenson11 months ago

Well, i should have known!! Just heard that Kevin Spacey has been sexually harassing young men on "House of cards" .. They were afraid to report him, because he was the Executive Producer, famous movie star, and had power over them. They were afraid of losing their jobs and being black-balled in the industry. He made the young men very uncomfortable in their working environment. They are now coming forward with accusations against him. I take back everything I gave him the benefit of the doubt for!! He is just another sick sex perverted Bastard!

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Karen H
Karen H11 months ago

I agree with Marianne C & Wesley S that singling out gays as pedophiles is wrong. Spacey's "excuse" plays right into the hands of the religious right, who will have a field day with it, though they ignore the adultery and sexual assault of #45. I agree with Karen and Ed O about "innocent until proven guilty". If it was one mistake, that's one thing, but many of these guys have something in common - they got away with it once and didn't stop.

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pam w
pam w11 months ago

Let me repeat....hundreds of people work on "House of Cards," supporting their families, themselves, businesses, etc. Do you REALLY think that a knee-jerk petition to shut that series down was appropriate? I'm pretty sure the series was ending this season. Screaming for blood/demanding cancellation of an entire production just because of Kevin Spacey's ALLEGED action umpteen years ago isn't exactly logical, is it?

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Muff-Anne York-Haley

There will be a lot less stars in Hollywood.

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Winn A
Winn A11 months ago

:-( Angry - Petition Signed

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Clare O
Clare O11 months ago

Idiot and nasty - how would he have liked it when he was 14? Drunk is no excuse.

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Clare O
Clare O11 months ago

I thought everyone knew he was gay.

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Herbert C
Herbert C11 months ago

No coming out celebration for Kevin.

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Sherri S
Sherri S11 months ago

The world is full of perverts.

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