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