LGBT com­mu­nity re­acts with fury as ac­tor ‘tries to de­flect from al­le­ga­tions’

Irish Independent - - News - Sh­erna Noah

IT WAS an apol­ogy that man­aged to trig­ger even more anger.

Kevin Spacey’s state­ment of re­gret, af­ter be­ing ac­cused of try­ing to se­duce for­mer child ac­tor An­thony Rapp, has kicked up a back­lash as the two-time Os­car win­ner then chose to come out of the closet, prompt­ing many to ques­tion the tim­ing and ac­cus­ing the ac­tor of try­ing to change the sub­ject.

“Kevin Spacey re­ally tried to throw the en­tire LGBT com­mu­nity un­der a bus and call it sol­i­dar­ity in an ef­fort to mask his per­sonal fail­ings,” wrote civil rights ac­tivist DeRay Mckes­son on Twit­ter.

Sarah Kate El­lis, pres­i­dent and CEO of the gay rights group GLAAD, said in a state­ment that the story was re­ally about un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances on Rapp, not Spacey’s sex­u­al­ity. “Com­ing out sto­ries should not be used to de­flect from al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault,” she said.

The two-para­graph state­ment – an apol­ogy in the first for a 31-year-old al­leged as­sault and a self-out­ing in the sec­ond – struck many as an odd time for Spacey to ad­dress his sex­u­al­ity. Worse, he

seemed to make a con­nec­tion be­tween be­ing gay and sex­ual abuse of mi­nors.

“You do not get to ‘choose’ to hide un­der the rain­bow!” co­me­dian Wanda Sykes, an out­spo­ken mem­ber of the LGBT com­mu­nity, wrote on Twit­ter.

Co­me­dian Billy Eichner also crit­i­cized the move: “Kevin Spacey has just in­vented some­thing that has never ex­isted be­fore: a bad time to come out.”

Rapp’s al­le­ga­tions come a few weeks af­ter dozens of women came for­ward to ac­cuse movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein (in­set) of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or as­sault, trig­ger­ing sim­i­lar ac­cu­sa­tions across a va­ri­ety of work­places. Yes­ter­day, one of those ac­cused – po­lit­i­cal jour­nal­ist Mark Halperin – was fired by NBC for al­le­ga­tions against him that arose last week.

Rapp cited the many We­in­stein ac­cusers for the rea­son he re­counted his en­counter with Spacey.

“I came for­ward with my story, stand­ing on the shoul­ders of the many coura­geous women and men who have been speak­ing out to shine a light and hope­fully make a dif­fer­ence, as they have done for me,” he wrote on Twit­ter. Rapp cur­rently stars in the CBS All Ac­cess se­ries “Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery.”

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