The best way to dodge a social bullet in 2017? Come out as gay!
Kevin Spacey did just that. The “House of Cards” star was recently the subject of a major scandal. Actor Anthony Rapp, now 46, alleged in an interview with Buzzfeed that Kevin Spacey had made sexual advances towards him in 1986. Rapp was 14 years old at the time, and Spacey was 26. His allegation did not come out of the blue but rather after the Harvey Weinstein scandal: a prominent Hollywood film producer accused of sexually assaulting several actresses.
This called for huge media attention, with everyone impatiently waiting for Spacey to make a statement that would prove his innocence, so that “House of Cards” fans could keep on watching and enjoying the show.
However, on the October 29, Spacey tweeted that he had a lot of respect for Rapp and that he, despite having no recollection of the incident, apologizes to him regardless of what was probably “inappropriate drunken behavior”.
So far so good, but then came this train wreck: Spacey declared that he has had relations with both men and women but chooses to be a gay man.
Kevin Spacey could have simply left it at his first statement. He did not remember the incident, but he realizes that an apology is in order and that his actions were probably the result of extreme liquor. That statement, while still inexcusable, apparently was not enough, for he had to go for that golden ticket, the gay card. This is not to say that he has no right to make his sexuality public, but the timing could not have been worse.
His statement, at this particular time, served to feed into the good ol’ myth that many extreme conservatives love to spout: that gay men are pedophiles. Gay marriage has only been legal for a bit over two years in the U.S., and the fight for equality is far from over. The LGBTQ+ community still suffers from a lot of misconceptions that people use against their fight for justice.
Kevin Spacey is not an ordinary man. His words and actions do not go unnoticed. He is an extremely famous and successful actor, which means that he can be taken as an example for those who are itching to harm. The idea that gay men are child molesters, or that they want to recruit children and to brainwash them into their “gay agenda”, has been an excuse to persecute the gay community for years. Now that they are slowly getting their way into freedom and equality, such a statement from Spacey can only worsen their already delicate situation. The U.S. is now facing a huge divide, especially after the emergence of the “Alt-Right”, a bunch of extreme right wingers who would not hesitate to use Spacey’s coming out to further their own agenda.
Netflix did not remain silent though and decided to cancel “House of Cards”. This serves as a stance against sexual harassment, one which everyone inside and outside the Hollywood industry should take note of.