Kevin Spacey came out as gay in a statement on social media Sunday, but many people are criticizing the actor for his ill-timed confession.
The House of Cards star shared the news as part of a public apology to actor Anthony Rapp, who alleges that Spacey climbed on top of him at a Manhattan party while “trying to seduce” him when Rapp was only 14 years old. Spacey, now 58, would have been 26 at the time.
Spacey claimed he did not remember the incident, but he issued “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate behavior,” he responded on Twitter Sunday night.
In the second paragraph of his public statement, Spacey revealed that he has had relationships with both men and women throughout the years and “I choose now to live as a gay man,” he wrote.
But rather than incite feelings of praise and acceptance, the actor’s statement was met with confusion and anger for its inappropriate delivery.
Spacey's shifting narrative:
When Spacey tweeted his statement in response to Rapp's claims, he was met with messages of criticism, rather than support.
That Kevin Spacey statement. Nope. Absolutely not. Nope.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
Rapp’s allegations against Spacey were published in an interview with Buzzfeed Sunday. The actor says Spacey invited him to his Manhattan apartment for a party in 1986, and after a while, Rapp said he and Spacey were alone.
“My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home,” Rapp said.
He alleges that Spacey picked him up “like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me,” Rapp continued.
“He was trying to seduce me,” the actor said.
Kevin Spacey is going full House of Cards trying to change the narrative from him assaulting an underage boy to him coming out as gay. pic.twitter.com/CWLR918Pfn— E (@esheikh_) October 30, 2017
Spacey responded with a two-paragraph message to Rapp. First, he apologized for any inappropriate choices he may have made that night, more than 30 years ago.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” Spacey wrote. “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
hello kevin spacey, "i was drunk and gay" is an excuse for like, table-dancing to britney spears, not attempted paedophilia— Haroon Javed (@Engr__haroon) October 30, 2017
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life,” the House of Cards actor said. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.”
Kevin Spacey, you have been accused of sexually assaulting a. 14 year old boy, how do you plead
Kevin Spacey: Gay— Misselayneous (@jones13_b) October 30, 2017
“As those closest to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women,” he continued. “I have loved and had romantic relationships with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior."prevnext
Gay community's reaction:
Rapp said he never approached Spacey about the incident, but he eventually talked to a lawyer who encouraged him not to pursue legal action.
“The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn’t happen,” Rapp said. “And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.”
Many criticized Spacey's coming out story as a way to deflect from the allegations he faces, while others condemned him for harming the gay community's progress in recent decades.
For a famous person to deflect these accusations with a long-in-the-making coming out is so cruel to his supposed new community it stings— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) October 30, 2017
Let’s be clear... Kevin Spacey’s attempt to deflect and spin this sorry by “coming out” is manipulative and it compounds issues.— B.I.E. Esq. ✊? (@TheWayWithAnoa) October 30, 2017
No, Kevin Spacey. You don't get to use your sexuality as a distraction from sexual assault.
You just threw the gay community under the bus.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 30, 2017
Harvey Weinstein comparisons:
Rapp said the recent allegations against Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein encouraged him to come forward with his own story of sexual misconduct, even more than 30 years later.
Harvey Weinstein: "I'm going to fight the NRA!"
Kevin Spacey: "I'm gay!"
Same story different distractions....— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) October 30, 2017
“Part of what allowed the Harvey situation to occur was that there was this witting and unwitting conspiracy of silence,” he said. “The only way these things can continue is if there’s no attention being paid to it, if it’s getting forgotten.”
First Harvey Weinstein, now Kevin Spacey
Hollywood's house of cards is being revealed and crashing down around them
Who's next?— PinkAboutIt ?? (@Pink_About_it) October 30, 2017
Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein's main accusers, tweeted a message to Spacey after his response to Rapp's allegations.
Bye bye, Spacey goodbye, it’s your turn to cry, that’s why we’ve gotta say goodbye. #ROSEARMY— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 30, 2017
Rapp's shared experiences follows a series of allegations against different men in the political or entertainment spotlight, which the internet will not soon forget.
"Checking My Male Privilege"
Producer: Harvey Weinstein— Pablo Baez (@snukasuper) October 30, 2017
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Kevin Spacey
Cameo: Bill Clinton#MuellerMonday
After Spacey issued a response, Rapp took to Twitter to share his brief thoughts with fans.0comments
While he chose not to comment on Spacey's immediate response and subsequent coming out story, he did acknowledge the "many courageous women and men" who have recently come forward by sharing their own experiences of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood.
I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out 1/3— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) October 30, 2017
Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) October 30, 2017
Photo credit: Getty / CBS Photo Archive / Contributorprev