Why Kevin Spacey Got It All Wrong, In His Actions And Apology
By: Steve Hladik
Sunday night, actor Anthony Rapp released a statement regarding an incident of sexual misconduct involving two-time Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey. Rapp accused Spacey of carrying him, then 14, into his bedroom and climbing on top of him and trying to coerce him into sexual activity. Spacey, 26 at the time, was rebuffed by Rapp and has not had any major allegations against him regarding sexual misconduct until now. Since Rapp’s story has come to attention, many other sources have claimed to have been harassed by Spacey, including incidents of groping and trying to get young actors and party attenders into his bedroom.
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal came out a few weeks ago, many other male figures in Hollywood have been called out for their behavior with their victims coming forward to share their stories. Today, another two-time Oscar winner, Dustin Hoffman, was accused of groping an actress on set of his movie version of Death of A Salesman. Director Brett Ratner was also accused today of sexual harassment from six different actresses, including Olivia Munn. One would imagine, in the coming days, months, and years, we will see even more powerful men in media being called out and held accountable for their actions.
In these past couple of days, we’ve begun to see that actual strides are being made in stripping these predators of their power and laurels. Harvey Weinstein, already expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, was removed from the Producers Guild for life, and Kevin Spacey is being rescinded of his special Emmy Award he was supposed to receive this year, in addition to his popular Netflix series House of Cards having filming postponed indefinitely. Brett Ratner’s movie about the life of Hugh Hefner (insert eyeroll GIF here) has also been postponed in the wake of the allegations against him. In regards to Spacey, hopefully this will open society’s eyes to the rampant sexual harassment and assault of men in Hollywood and in the country.
When the conversation about sexual assault and harassment does actually take place, it often excludes male voices and statistics from the narrative. Many people in the world still ignorantly believe that men can’t be victims of sexual violence. With James Van Der Beek, Terry Crews, and Anthony Rapp opening up about their experiences, one could hope that more men feel comfortable to move forward with their stories as well. Being a male victim of sexual violence comes with it’s own kind of stigma. Patriarchy perpetuates the idea that a man can’t be a victim of these types of crimes or harassment because men are “strong” and “dominant” thus being unable to experience these kinds of traumas.
With the case of Kevin Spacey, the intersection of LGBTQ+ folks and sexual violence comes into play. Statistically, it’s been proven that LGBTQ+ youth and teens are more vulnerable to sexual abuse. Often ostracized and abandoned, emotionally, or sometimes physically, they often victim to predators preying on their vulnerability. Rapp has even stated himself that his inability to come to terms with his sexuality at the time led to further confusion and trauma regarding in the incident with Spacey. Also, the notion that LGBTQ+ people, especially gay men, are pedophiles is still perpetuated in our society. What we are looking at here is the cyclical horrors of toxic masculinity and how it silences victims, perpetuates heinous ideas, and erodes our society.