After writing about Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Bill O’Reilly, I have celebrity sexual assault fatigue. I’m annoyed with Kevin Spacey for making me write this article. Not, to be clear, I’m not angry at Anthony Rapp for telling BuzzFeed News that Spacey drunkenly assaulted him when he (Rapp) was 14 and Spacey was 28. I’m mad at Spacey for doing it and for his astoundingly tone-deaf apology:
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Way to use your long-awaited coming out as a cover for your gross, predatory behavior, Kevin. This certainly won’t reinforce stereotypes of gay men as pedophiles and sex offenders.
And, of course, initial media responses didn’t miss the mark at all. Take this intro from Reuters:
“Actor Kevin Spacey has apologized for an alleged attempt to seduce a 14-year-old boy more than 30 years ago, an encounter the two-time Oscar winner denied recalling but attributed to drunkenness as he also came out as a gay man on Twitter.”
An adult trying to have sex with a 14-year-old isn’t seduction, it’s assault. But good, include that it was over 30 years ago and that he’s won a bunch of trophies and he’s apologized and by the way GUESS WHO IS GAY NOW? That’ll definitely pull focus from the sexual assault of a minor and put it on the titillating news that a successful man in Hollywood has sex with men.
ABC News initially spun Spacey’s response as a coming out story over an “emotional tweet.”
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) October 30, 2017
After the internet told ABC where it can stick its emotional tweet, the headline changed to focus on, you know, the sexual assault. Of. A. Minor.
The New York Daily News opened the whole thing as though Spacey had confessed his homosexuality in an intimate conversation in which he “opened up about a longstanding Hollywood rumor when he came out as gay Sunday night.” The story led into Spacey’s response tweet with “Amid accusations from Anthony Rapp, the American Beauty star revealed that he has had relationships with men and women throughout his life.”
“Amid accusations” sounds like Rapp was accusing Spacey of being gay. And not of ASSAULTING A MINOR. And yes, Spacey was in American Beauty. You can read IMDb as well, I’m so glad. Good to remind us all that Spacey is but a poor man with a distinguished career and screw this Rapp guy for trying to defame him.
The point ain’t if he’s “choosing” to be gay, living a gay lifestyle or adopting gay cat. Not least because we’re at least a decade beyond that conversation. Gender is a spectrum, sexuality is fluid, you can be bisexual and homo/hetero-amorous, you can identify as a lesbian and sometimes have sex with men, you can have a history of sex with all manner of people/genders, etc and “choose to live a gay lifestyle” in that you’re choosing to identify as gay.
None of this is the point. The point is sexually assaulting a 14-year-old is bad. And taking this opportunity to apologize for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old and come out of the closet in the same tweet is ALSO BAD. And grabbing the nearest rainbow shield is a fucking offensive way to come out of the closet.