Monday, October 30, 2017

Nope, Kevin Spacey

Yeah, nope. Nope to all of that, Kevin Spacey. Look, I know we’re all excited about Indictment Day. (Please, let Mueller have gone to Jared, please, please…) But we have to take some time to talk about the very serious sexual allegations leveled at Kevin Spacey and his troublesome response on Sunday.

If you haven’t read it already, Buzzfeed published a thorough and well-sourced story about actor Anthony Rapp (of “Rent” and the new “Star Trek: Discovery” fame) who said Kevin Spacey made sexual advances at him when he was 14 years old. This is of course disturbing and inexcusable. Spacey was 26 at the time. And, again, Rapp was 14 (and it should be noted looked about 12).

Spacey did not respond to Buzzfeed’s requests for comment before the story published. But then a few hours after it published he tweeted out this:

Look, normally I cheer each new celeb who comes out. But coming out in response to allegations of trying to have sex with a 14-year-old boy is, uh, NOT GREAT. Super not great.

There are so many problematic things packed into Spacey’s two-paragraph apology. And I hate to say this, because everyone's journey out of the closet is different and difficult. But this statement does far more harm than good. And it’s extremely hard to not cynically see his “coming out” as a shield against what many believe will be flood of more similar allegations.

But let’s talk about what the man said up front. Somehow it manages to reinforce nearly every single terrible stereotype homophobes have about LGBTQ people: lasciviousness, abuse of alcohol/drugs, gayness as choice and, of course, the biggest whopper of them all – that we are pedophiles. Again, NOT GREAT.

I cannot emphasize enough how harmful it is to conflate being gay with being attracted to underage boys. This is the horrible cudgel homophobes have been bashing us with since the beginning of time. Homosexuality as pedophilia. So, once more with feeling, NOT GREAT.

Kevin Spacey’s relationship with the gay community has been a bumpy one over the years, mostly because he kept denying he was one of us. First was the now infamous “Kevin Spacey Has a Secret” Esquire article in 1997 that hinted at his gayness just as his star was on the rise. Then, I vividly remember his very adamant denials of said gayness in a Playboy article in 1999, the year he won the Oscar for “American Beauty.” In it he flat-out said “is not true. It's a lie.” And he also bragged that being perceived as gay was helping him bag chicks. No, I am not kidding.
“There are a few women who think the article might be true. For them, it's a challenge. They want to be the ones to turn me around.

[And] I let them.”
Gross, Kevin Spacey. Gross. But not nearly as gross, not to mention fucking criminal, as sexually assaulting a 14-year-old. Let me repeat, for the people in the back, being gay is not the same as being a pedophile – period. Don’t let Kevin Spacey confused you on this. Separate, not the same.

This issue of powerful men (and just men in general) sexually assaulting, harassing and abusing women and men is not one that is going away. But I find hope in more brave victims and survivors coming forward to tell their truths and to finally show this ugliness for what it is. Only with light will we drive out this despicable darkness. Now, wouldn’t that be great?

p.s. Man, am I so fucking glad I never started watching “House of Cards.”


Helena said...

Once again you managed to eloquently say what I feel , thank you.

Florence said...

For once I disagree. We all know that gay doesn't equal pedophile. Homophobes on the other hand are convinced it's the case. But they were convinced of that before Kevin Spacey came out and nothing was going to change their minds anyway. Not now, not ever. They would say vile homphobic shit regardless of whether Kevin Spacey had come out or not.

Carmen SanDiego said...

So much wrong in two paragraphs. Ugh, spacey

Anonymous said...

Ive never put Hollywood on a pedestal like So many Americans. Their stupid pat each other on the back award shows, the millionaires. Abuses of power. Glad I never cared what these people do. I'm in middle America and too busy trying to make a living to even care.

Anonymous said...

HOC is worth it for Robin Wright. Definitely.