On October 29, Buzzfeed News published an article in which Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp described the night Kevin Spacey of House of Cards attempted to sexually assault him. At 14, Spacey had befriended Rapp and invited Rapp to a party. In the article, Rapp goes on to say he was the only child at the party and spent the night in a bedroom watching television until he realized Spacey was at the doorway and they were alone. It was then that Spacey picked Rapp up and laid him on the bed.
Rapp ended up getting out from under Spacey and left, but in the article published by Buzzfeed, it is clear the repercussions were felt for years. Rapp continues to describe seeing him in a movie for the first time after it happened, as well as coming face to face with Spacey after using the restroom years later and the feeling of not knowing what to do.
Rapp is not the first to make an allegation against Spacey, with Heather Unruh tweeting that he sexually assaulted “a loved one” after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein came out. However, the allegation that Rapp came forward with in the Buzzfeed article is the one that Spacey chose to comment on.
In a statement over Twitter, Spacey states that he does not remember the situation that Rapp referred to and that it would have been “drunken behavior.” In that same statement, Kevin Spacey chooses to come out.
In no way should sexuality be used as an excuse or distraction for a sexual assault. In the same statement where Spacey uses the excuse of “being drunk,” he uses the situation to come out to society, therefore changing the conversation as well as linking a homosexual male to pedophilia and sexual assault. Spacey has chosen to manipulate the situation away from Anthony Rapp and the courage it took for him to come forward with the truth, and twisted it around for his own gain, refusing to acknowledge and take responsibility for his actions.
In a world where being a member of the LGBT community can be dangerous, linking homosexuality to sexual assault does even more harm. It is a pitiful attempt at a deflection and an excuse, and one that we cannot let distract from the real situation at hand. By using this instance to come out, Spacey has reinforced damaging stereotypes that gay men are predators, when a person’s sexuality has no bearing on whether someone is more likely to sexually assault another person.
Since Rapp has shared his story, more individuals have come forward with similar allegations about Spacey. In the wake of the mounting allegations against Spacey, the actor is facing a career fallout with most of Hollywood officially shunning him. Following the news, Spacey's talent agency, CAA and his publicist, Staci Wolfe at Polaris parted ways with the actor.
Former House of Cards employees stated that the set had become a toxic work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment. Netflix also revealed that the company would be severing all ties with Spacey as well as suspending production on season six of House of Cards until further notice. The company also stated that it would not be releasing Spacey's latest film, Gore.
In addition, filmmaker Ridley Scott has also made a bold, unprecedented decision to remove Spacey and replace him with Christopher Plummer from the completed but unreleased project, All The Money In The World. However, the film is still set to be released on December 22nd.
Kevin Spacey was a sexual predator before he came out. Let’s keep the conversation on that, and call his statement for what it is: a desperate attempt to save face behind cowardice.