He was one of the most bankable stars in the world. His production company was one of the first to take Netflix seriously, his name carrying the weight and authority that helped put Netflix on the map. He had two Oscars under his belt and countless accolades and awards from all corners of the industry.
And in five days, just 120 hours, it all came crashing down. Kevin Spacey lost his job, agent, publicist, reputation and saw his bankability devalued to zero. He became a global entertainment industry pariah, his work digitally removed, and his name synonymous with “monster.” In less than a week, social justice warriors had transformed the man known famously worldwide for his cinematic malevolence and unflinching intensity into a real-life, flesh-and-blood demon of Hollywood.
It’s hard to imagine or find historical precedence for such a meteoric fall from grace. There have been more Hollywood scandals than can be counted during the last century of filmmaking, but Spacey’s utter obliteration seems particularly breakneck.
For the past three and a half years, Spacey’s only appearances have been through self-produced annual Youtube videos and unsuccessful legal proceedings. For all intents and purposes, Kevin Spacey had been erased.
“The Man Who Drew God,” an Italian film from Director Franco Nero, will see the actor in his first role since Anthony Rapp’s sordid BuzzFeed article appeared in October 2017.
Was justice served? Did the social warrior movement of #MeToo judiciously strike down one of the entitled abusers of power and privilege?
Or was Kevin Spacey one of the first casualties in the new caste system, carving itself out on social media via metrics of allegation and likability?
In October 2017, buoyed by Ronan Farrow’s investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement came out swinging at high-profile men in positions of power. But despite its bluster, what was once hailed as a “global reckoning” and gave voice to numerous allegations, only managed to put seven convictions under its belt.
The allegation made by Star Trek and Rent actor Anthony Rapp was one of the most widely publicized stories of that autumn. Rapp credits his revived motivation to speak out as Lupito Nyong’o and her October 19, 2017, N.Y. Times Op-Ed about her encounters with Harvey Weinstein. I say “revived” because this wasn’t the first time he told the story.
Was Kevin Spacey one of the first casualties in the new caste system, carving itself out on social media via metrics of allegation and likeability?
Rapp previously shared his story in a 2001 interview with The Advocate but did not name Spacey as his alleged assailant. Following that interview, Rapp reportedly consulted with an attorney and was advised he did not have a case “worth pursuing.”
In 2017, standing on the shoulders of Nyong’o and others who had come forward with their #MeToo moments, Rapp reached out to long-time friend Adam B. Vary to tell his story again, this time naming Spacey.
Vary was an entertainment reporter at BuzzFeed in late 2017. At that time, BuzzFeed was staring down layoffs totaling 8% of its U.S. workforce, a significant revenue shortfall, was “increasingly trying to generate revenue from its own site,” and struggling with readership loss with readers preferring “news over viral sites.”
Traditional journalism’s “two-source” rule would have seen accusations, like the one Rapp was making, verified by two independent sources. Then-Deputy-National-Editor Marisa Carroll, defended the choice to publish the salacious claim by promoting BuzzFeed’s newsroom commitment to “reporting allegations against powerful people,” citing their history of “deeply reported, true” pieces. In conversation with the BBC, Carroll noted their only verification of Rapp’s allegations was speaking with several of his friends and confirming he had shared his story with them. Without supporting evidence or witness other than the accuser, BuzzFeed published the interview.
120 Hours – A Timeline Of What Happened To Kevin Spacey
Sunday, October 29, 2017
9:32 p.m. ET
- BuzzFeed publishes Anthony Rapp’s allegations that Kevin Spacey made a drunken sexual advance on then 14-year-old Rapp.
Monday, October 30, 2017
1:00 a.m. ET
- Kevin Spacey posts a statement on Twitter in response to the BuzzFeed interview, saying he does not have the same recollection of their alleged interaction. Nonetheless, he apologized for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” if he had, in fact, acted improperly.
5:05 p.m. ET
- Robert Cavazos posts a comment on Facebook stating he had a couple of “unpleasant” interactions with Kevin Spacey that “came close to being called harassment” but that the lack of “aggressive action” led him to justify Spacey’s actions as “one of those things.”
8:01 p.m. ET
- The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences–an arm of what many view to be the industry’s barometer for success–announces they will no longer honor Spacey with the 2017 Intl Emmy Founders Award.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
- Spacey’s publicist, Staci Wolfe releases a statement that the star “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.
- BuzzFeed suggests Spacey has weaponized ‘the closet’ to protect him from repercussions.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
- CNN reports that eight crew members of House of Cards call Spacey’s behavior “predatory” and included “non consensual touching.” All sources remain anonymous.
- Several stories surface from people claiming the actor aggressively hit on them in a manner that involved groping.
- Creative Artists Agency, the actor’s representing agency for the last eight years, severs ties.
- Staci Wolf parts ways with the actor.
- Vulture runs a piece from an anonymous accuser who alleges he had an “extended sexual relationship” with Spacey when he was 14. Vulture states in the article they found limited facts to support his claims beyond confirming Spacey taught an acting class at a certain date and location. (The anonymous man claims he first met Spacey in ’81 at the acting class). This man would come to be known as “C.D.”
Friday, November 3, 2017
- BuzzFeed reports that an anonymous actor alleged Spacey sexually assaulted him multiple times in a public place in 2013. The article does not include any additional details that can be verified.
- Netflix issues a statement announcing it will no longer “be involved” with any further House of Cards production that includes Kevin Spacey. (Spacey’s production company Trigger Street Productions released the award-winning series on Netflix in 2013.)
- Netflix says it will continue to work with the House of Cards production on a “path forward,” but only without Spacey.
- Netflix announces its decision not to move forward with the film Gore, despite its post-production status. Gore stars Kevin Spacey and is also produced by the actor.
- In an additional statement issued later that night, Netflix announces that the actor had been suspended, “effective immediately.“
At this point, the two-time Oscar winner’s career has come to a dead stop. The global mainstream media has cast him out, declaring him a “pariah.” That was the last time we saw Kevin Spacey professionally.
In this instance, virtually all major media accounts agree that social justice was swift, merciless, and righteous.
Or was it?
Weaponizing the Closet Cuts Both Ways
Spacey had long been rumored to be part of the LGBTQ community. Within the entertainment industry, it was more of a known secret. Many community leaders expressed frustration and annoyance that he kept his private life private. He had been under pressure for decades to come out into the open.
More than a few prominent gay activists and advocates have criticized the joint apology / “coming out” statement he issued following Rapp’s accusation. For many, it struck two all-too-familiar pain-points: 1) associating homosexuality with the targeting of minors, and 2) for “choos[ing] to live a gay man,” challenging a long-running maxim of some within the LGBTQ community that we are, as the song goes, Born This Way. (Individuals self-identifying as bi- or pan-sexual continue to have contentious disagreements on this issue as well.) Instead of rallying around one of our own, Kevin Spacey was cut loose.
I spoke with “Tim C.,” a prominent gay actor and writer who is choosing to keep his sexuality out of the conversation, much in the way Kevin Spacey did. He requested I not use his real name for fear of industry blowback. “The industry’s just not that woke,” he laughed, “they’re only woke when the camera’s rolling. Behind the scenes most days, it’s pretty much business as usual, just with a lot more people afraid to socialize.
“It’s like swimming with piranhas. The water’s fine until the first drop of blood.” I asked ‘Tim’ whether being a part of the LGBTQ community was still a hot-button issue. “In my case, almost everyone here knows and who cares, right, because they [the audience] don’t know. But if I came out today, they’d sure as hell care pretty fast.”
“Kevin Spacey is the best thing to happen to Anthony Rapp’s career”
He offered some clarification. “It’d go like this. I’d get a ton of applause for being “out.” I’d trend. I’d maybe land one or two queer roles, right, and then the reality–well, I’d lose half my bookings for the next six months or longer. I’d never play another lead–unless it was a gay one. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you or to themselves.”
When asked about the benefit to actors, like Anthony Rapp, who has prioritized being open about his queerness from the start [Rapp himself avoids the label “gay,” stating: “I haven’t said ‘I am gay.’ Because the truth is that I’ve also been in love with women.”] ‘Tim’ explained, “Let’s just say there’s a reason hardly anyone knew Rapp outside Broadway before this whole [Kevin Spacey] thing.” ‘Tim’ added, pointedly, “Kevin Spacey is the best thing to happen to Anthony Rapp’s career.”
And what about Kevin Spacey? While ‘Tim’ says he doesn’t know the actor beyond “saying hello,” he has a theory. “I always thought he just had a thing for straight guys–because they were the ones complaining. That will always land you in the sh*t.”
Those complaints are now widely known, with the House of Cards actor accumulating more than 30 allegations, almost all of which were reported soon after the BuzzFeed article. A vast majority of those making the allegations share two key factors: 1) they were adults, and 2) they insisted on remaining anonymous (and subsequently, the allegations remain unable to be investigated).
While a few accusers were under eighteen, like Justin Dawes (16), who, along with a friend, allege Spacey served them alcohol and showed them gay porn, there are only two accusations involving persons below the age of consent: an anonymous source featured in a Vulture article known only as C.D. and Anthony Rapp.
In 2020, C.D. convinced Rapp to join him in a civil lawsuit to seek damages against the House of Cards actor to the tune of forty million dollars each. The kicker for this case was that C.D. wanted to remain anonymous throughout the court proceedings, a dangerous precedent if accepted.
The judge in the case ruled against the motion to proceed anonymously, ordering C.D. to refile with his name if he wanted to continue. The decision noted that it would be impossible to adequately verify or refute the allegations without including C.D.’s name. C.D. did not choose to move forward; he did not refile with his name before the deadline expired. That leaves Anthony Rapp as the sole accuser of underage misconduct.
Everybody Has A Kevin Spacey Story
Several months into my investigation of this story, I soon learned that almost everyone in Hollywood (and beyond) had a Kevin Spacey story; or more accurately, they seemed to have the same Kevin Spacey story.
While I heard the same story over and over, most weren’t first-hand. With one exception, everyone I connected with claimed to “know someone at a party” or at a club who “saw the whole thing.” Regardless of locale, the story seems to be almost the same: After a few drinks, his hands wander.
Norwegian writer, Ari Behn, told his Kevin Spacey story to Norwegian radio in December 2017. Behn and Spacey were seated next to each other at an afterparty nightclub. Behn said Spacey invited him to join him outside for a cigarette and then reached “under the table,” groping him. In the interview, Behn is heard laughing as he recalls telling Spacey, “Eh, maybe later.”
Guy Pearce, Spacey’s co-star in the acclaimed film L.A. Confidential, said he remembered the actor as being “handsy.”
The general consensus appears to be, as Jim Jeffries observes in his Netflix special, This Is Me Now, Kevin Spacey seems to get “a bit grabby” after he’s had a few.
Socially appropriate? Nope. Not by a long shot. But as one former partygoer and the only person I could find who had the first-hand experience with an unwanted Kevin Spacey advance, said, “a slap on the wrist and he f*cked off. Not exactly the great predator they’re [the media] making him out to be now, is he?” As another actor close to the story offered, “sounds like he’s making a bad pass.”
In the three years since the downfall, the actor has been investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies in different countries for sexual offenses stemming from media coverage. To date, only three cases have been brought to court; two civil, one criminal.
The first was in 2019. It was a civil lawsuit involving allegations from an anonymous masseur that the actor made him touch his genitals during a massage session at his Malibu home in October 2016. Spacey denied the allegations, and the case, initially filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was dismissed with prejudice following the plaintiff’s death (due to cancer)–the plaintiff’s family cannot refile the case.
The second was a criminal case in 2019. This was a single count of indecent assault and battery following accusations by former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh. She publicly accused the actor of putting his hand down her adult son’s pants at The Club Car, an upscale Nantucket, MA bar, in July 2016. The case was ultimately tossed out and again dismissed with prejudice–following Unruh’s admittance of tampering with smartphone images crucial to the case and the plaintiff’s invoking of the Fifth Amendment.
This leaves the Anthony Rapp case as the only one yet to be resolved.
Being Creepy Is Great For The Box Office But A Public Relations Nightmare
As a thriller writer, I love a good movie or book monster–but my favorite monster to read and write about is the human monster. These multifaceted characters offer layer upon layer of conflict and subtlety that you can really sink your teeth into as both creator or audience. They’re challenging and frustrating, terrifying and succulent. A good monster is every storyteller’s best friend.
And as a culture, we love monsters. From Freddie Kruger to Pennywise, Hannibal Lecter to Frank Underwood, we love to hate characters. And when it came to breathing life into those characters we love to hate, directors turned to Kevin Spacey.
Kevin Spacey does creep–better than anyone. He brings terror and cold-blooded malevolence to both the big and small screens with ease for a simple, singular reason. Like Robin Williams, Mandy Patinkin, Adam Driver, or Kelsey Grammar, the Juilliard-trained actor has great chops. And that makes for a glorious career–unless you have a penchant for playing monsters.
Most actors don’t have to worry about audiences blurring the line between fact and fiction. But there are those rare few artists so adept at the characters they create they are forever fused with them. It’s type-casting with real-world consequences. For Kevin Spacey, it’s not just casting directors who will only consider him for certain “monster” character types, but his audience assumes he acts that way off-screen, as well.
And that’s a problem for Kevin Spacey. When people think of him, they think of Keyser Söze and Frank Underwood–they don’t think of Mr. Fuzzypants (the CGI cat he played in the film Nine Lives). Like it or not, the characters an actor is known for, coupled with their reputation, will impact the treatment they get from the world–and the justice system.
Bill Cosby first faced public accusations of sexual misconduct in 2004, and his first criminal court case alleging battery and sexual assault in 2005–although assertions of sexual misconduct have followed the actor for nearly 40 years. But despite growing allegations, more than 60 at last count, America’s favorite “T.V. Dad” continued to work until late 2014, before being canceled and subsequently convicted in 2018.
Leading man Armie Hammer began trending on January 11, 2021. The actor’s name was going viral following a series of direct graphic messages–reportedly from Hammer to multiple women–were shared on social media.
The messages discuss drinking blood, sexual dominance situations, and cannibalism. The wild accusations found traction, and soon the the Call Me By Your Name actor found himself embroiled in scandals surrounding sexual assault and cannibalism. The actor chose to walk away from the Paramount + series The Offer on January 29, 2021, with support from Lionsgate. He was not forcibly removed from the series. His name circulated on social media connected to a California homicide on January 31, 2021 (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide Division has since stated Hammer’s name “hasn’t come up as a suspect“). His agent and publicist remained with him until they severed ties February 5, 2021, more than five times as long as it took Kevin Spacey to suffer the same fate.
And did I mention the cannibalism allegation?
The Pineapple Express co-star frequently played affable stoners or underdog heroes in his films. But in January of 2018, five women accused the actor of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior. While these allegations have badly damaged his career, he is still working, appearing as recently as last year in the film Kill The Czar.
The Oscar-winning actor was accused of an assault not dissimilar to the one leveled at Kevin Spacey. Two women who worked with Affleck on the 2010 film I’m Still Here made the allegations. One claimed the leading man climbed into her bed without her consent while she was asleep. The other woman alleged he “violently” tried to intimidate her into staying in his hotel room. There were additional allegations of “other types of misconduct.” Both women sued the star for millions but settled the claims out of court. Affleck has continued to work in several films and will be directing a feature later this year.
When a celebrity or public figure is socially ‘convicted’ of being a ‘bad actor’ (pun intended), the ease and availability of social media allows others to raise their so-called virtue stock by piling scorn on the accused. Woke warriors can also improve their standing by praising the bravery of the accuser–nothing needs to be even remotely investigated before the Social Media Cavalry comes charging in, purity tests verified, and virtues signaling.
Rosie O’Donnell was quick to jump on the Kevin Spacey story bandwagon, taking to Twitter in the aftermath of the Anthony Rapp allegations.
u don’t remember the incident – 30 years ago? – fuck u kevin – like Harvey we all knew about u – I hope more men come forward @KevinSpacey— ROSIE (@Rosie) October 30, 2017
What I found most disturbing in O’Donnell’s tweet is her implication that she had first-hand knowledge of criminal sexual acts against children but did nothing to intervene.
Admittedly, I am not a fan of the popular former talk show host and LGBTQ icon. But I cannot believe that an adoption advocate and someone unafraid of controversy would decide the appropriate response to learning of child endangerment is to remain silent for years, only to reply with a tweet once everything comes out. It doesn’t make sense.
However, what makes sense is that she, like almost everyone else in Hollywood, heard a story from a friend who knew someone who claims they saw the whole darn thing. (Rosie O’Donnell did not respond to my request for an interview on the issue.)
It seems the punishments meted out by the Hollywood woke courts are sporadic at best and wildly unbalanced at worst. Several established big names like Sylvester Stallone, Ben Affleck, Nick Carter, and millennial celebrities like Ansel Elgort and Justin Beiber have all been accused of varying forms of sexual misconduct.
The validity of these accusations is not the issue. The #MeToo movement insists that those who come forward should be believed when they level accusations of assault against the rich and powerful men that comprise “the patriarchy.”
Like a majority of Kevin Spacey’s accusers, many of the claims referenced above are decades old or were made anonymously. So how come they get a pass and Kevin Spacey doesn’t? What makes him so special? The #MeToo movement has yet to define the precise metric it uses to cast a verdict of ‘evil’ on one celebrity and ‘redeemable’ another.
A Bad Rapp?
In Anthony Rapp’s 2006 memoir, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent, he recounts his unprovoked and vicious attack, when Rapp was 26, on then-boyfriend Todd. This is alarming commentary from the towheaded totem of the #MeToo movement. Rapp has issued repeated calls to end violence of any kind, and voiced his commitment to “exposing all forms of abuse and mistreatment.” He has joined with A Call To Men (an organization focused on “healthy respectful manhood” and has appeared in events such as Voices Against Violence, all while presumably forgetting he wrote a book that featured his own violent domestic assault in vivid detail. The book, available in most libraries, Kindle, Apple Books, etc., isn’t difficult to find. (Rapp even turned the memoir into an international touring one-person musical show.)
If you haven’t read the memoir, Rapp describes breaking up with his boyfriend, Todd, how he “completely lost control” when Todd accepts the breakup–albeit with a torrent of expletives–turns and begins to walk away.
Rapp then details how he “leaped up and charged forward, ….pummeled Todd, …punched him in the back of the head, knocking him down.” Rapp’s recollection of Todd turning to him, with “terror in his eyes,” is haunting as he unleashes another barrage of punches to his victim’s “head and his arms.”
Punches to the back of the head are considered especially dangerous. They are banned in most sports because of the potential for damage to the cervical vertebrae and spinal cord, which can result in significant, irreparable spinal cord injury. (Mike Tyson was actually disqualified from a fight with Evander Holyfield because he hit Holyfield in the back of the head.)
It’s at this point in Rapp’s memoir that we learn Norbert Leo Butz (Adam Pascal’s understudy, who would replace Pascal as Roger in 1997) and cast mate Jesse L. Martin manage to pull the 5’7″ actor briefly off the battered young man, who is now “huddled on the concrete, his hands covering his head,” a position of self-protection. But Rapp’s rage is not yet extinguished.
Rapp describes the second phase of the attack with chilling clarity.
I pressed into the ground with the full strength of my legs. I reached out and crawled with my hands and knees across the concrete, dragging these two men with me until I ripped free of them and charged back at Todd, assailing him with fresh blows to his back and his shoulders.”Anthony Rapp, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
How much blind rage do you need to have to drag two not-insignificantly-sized men, several feet, crawling to reach someone to attack them a second time?
In the subsequent passages, Rapp skims over the impact of his actions on his victim. Instead, he dedicates several pages explaining his feelings of shame, remorse, and vulnerability, demonstrating how much he is suffering before attending his bruised, battered, and traumatized boyfriend. “I just couldn’t see you go like that,” Rapp explains. “I couldn’t control myself, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t see you go.” Rapp seemingly justifies his actions by placing accountability at his victim’s feet.
What’s disturbing here, beyond the apparent savageness of the attack, is the hypocrisy. As a self-described “loud, proud, proselytizing member” of the “Church of Wokeness,” Rapp’s personal history is incongruous to woke culture’s cancelation of notable figures for decades-old actions, inappropriate social media posts, drunken behavior, etc. To date, Anthony Rapp seems to have escaped being held to the same scrutiny that has felled much bigger stars.
Prove It Didn’t Happen
1986 was a provocative year for theatre.
In New York, both Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp appeared on Broadway that spring; Spacey in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Rapp in George Furth’s Precious Sons–which challenged Broadway audiences with a father who “drunkenly mistakes his son for someone else, climbs on top of him, and makes a sexual advance.”
For young Anthony Rapp, who portrayed the son, Furth’s play had a seemingly profound effect. “On some level, my system was kind of weirdly accustomed to the action [of having a man crawl on top of me] because it had been happening in the play,” the former child actor recalled in his 2017 BuzzFeed accusation interview.
Rapp’s allegations assert that the American Beauty star invited the teen to his place to attend a party. At the end of the night, Rapp says Spacey scooped him up, “like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” plops him on his bed, then “lays down” on top of him in an attempt to “get with [him] sexually.” Rapp says he was able to “squirm” away from the 26 year-old-Spacey and leave the residence unobstructed.
The human mind is an extraordinary thing. We are still discovering and attempting to unravel its comprehensive functionality. I chatted with Dr. Howard Eisenberg (psychologist, life coach and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont) in a brief Q&A about the potential for imagined/acted experiences to seep into our awareness, making it difficult to know what actually happened versus what we imagined/acted out.
He clarified that our brains do “not distinguish well between what we imagine vividly and actual experiences in the external world,” adding that both stimulate “many of the same brain centers and can also change the underlying neuronal circuitry (“neuroplasticity”).”
Perhaps within this framework lies the pathway to understanding why so many child stars experience difficulty coping with the struggles of adulthood. Countless child actors have publicly battled identity issues, underage drug and alcohol consumption, underage sexual promiscuity, age-inappropriate sexual experiences, blending of fact and fallacy, and anger issues.
By no means does this disprove Rapp’s accusation, but it does reveal the need for a deeper level of inquiry about what might, or might not, have happened on the night in question 35 years ago.
But, there is no inquiry.
I scoured media publications–mainstream, fringe, international and independent reporters–hoping to find anyone who has questioned the circumstances and integrity of the accusations aimed at Spacey. I’ve come up empty.
There doesn’t seem to have been a single, serious investigation into Rapp’s claims or the circumstances of that evening.
“At least when I had fooled around with my friends Christopher and Stephen, masturbating together and occasionally going down on each other, we had talked before and after, and sometimes during.”-Anthony Rapp, describing some of his sexual activities at age 14
Apart from Rapp’s disturbing assault, the other thing I noticed is that no one seems to care the pre-Kevin-Spacey-party Anthony Rapp was already engaging in age-inappropriate sex. In his memoir, Rapp details having sex at the age of 14, with an “older-looking than his 18 years” neighborhood friend. “It was just sex after all, it didn’t mean anything anyway, and he obviously wanted to do it, so if he wanted to, that was all right.” This is in addition to what could be interpreted as group sexual activities at home in Joliet, Illinois. “At least when I had fooled around with my friends Christopher and Stephen, masturbating together and occasionally going down on each other, we had talked before and after, and sometimes during,” says Rapp in his memoir.
These activities in no way negate his allegations against Spacey, but they do change the narrative about a powerful, predatory aggressor victimizing a virginal, innocent, unknowing, prepubescent child.
But again, no one with any publishing power (left or right) seems to be curious about looking deeper into the allegations or interested in the idea of doing so. Although speaking strictly from personal experience, I found countless publications interested in so-called Kevin Spacey hit pieces.
Within 120 hours, a professional career of more than thirty years in the making, boasting countless awards and honors both domestic and international, is incinerated.
This didn’t follow an investigation. These actions were set in motion based on a one-sided allegation from an individual not without abuse questions surrounding his own past; allegations of events that happened more than 35 years ago; allegations the accused has continually denied.
And that’s why this should terrify us all.
Anyone who has committed crimes against a child 10- 20- 30- 40- years ago still needs to be held accountable. No one disagrees with that. But what about those people who may act in a way we do not like –those individuals we may foster jealousy toward or feel rebuked by in some manner–but who are nonetheless still innocent of committing crimes?
In the year I’ve spent digging into this story, I’ve learned two things:
- One: The line has moved. Historical interactions that were brushed off at the time now fail to meet the mark when viewed through society’s current priggish lens. And that’s fine. That’s how societies grow. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that we won’t accept specific behavior from now on is evolution. But turning that perspective backward isn’t progressive.
- Two: Kevin Spacey demonstrates a sexual assertiveness that other sexual dominates would likely not appreciate. And whether you like or loathe his personal dating style, not everyone objects. An actress with knowledge of the situation suggested Kevin Spacey’s “trouble seems to be more whom he considers worth pursuing–not the pursuit itself,” adding, “for the right person, that behavior can be quite a turn on.”
Allegations are just that, alleged. Proving their truth takes time. Should we believe allegations against an actor just because it’s out there, in print somewhere? What about multiple allegations? What about allegations claimed by anonymous sources?
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The Church of Wokeness would have you believe that once alleged, forever guilty; that we must accept all allegations without question or inquiry and cancel that person immediately. And that is a dangerous slope for us all.
The line between acceptable and unacceptable, between appropriate and inappropriate, will move; it always has. What we thought was okay to do 35 years ago is not okay today–and what we consider acceptable today will assuredly be shunned by the grandchildren of The Wokest Generation.
Life After Cancelation: Kevin Spacey Now
As one by one, the allegations fall off and begin to collect dust, like forgotten awards, the one time Hollywood favorite is left in an uncharted no man’s land–not proven guilty, yet unable to prove his innocence. How do you irrefutably prove something didn’t happen when the only two people (supposedly) present recall different events? Kevin Spacey is the new breed of the alleged–canceled by allegation.
Yet, in the background, quietly but determinedly, Kevin Spacey goes on being Kevin Spacey.
In Director Franco Nero’s film, L’uomo Che Disegno Dio (The Man Who Drew God), the actor is cast as a detective investigating a child sexual abuse allegation case, drawing harsh criticism from the press. After living and breathing this story for almost a year, I, for one, appreciate the irony.
Woke warrior justice and cancel culture cannot sustain for the long haul because at its core is imbalance. Tip the scales too far to either end, and any system will collapse in on itself. There must be balance and, at least, the aspiration for equal distribution if there is to be a lasting impact.
Allegations must be given the attention they deserve, but we can’t do this in a day. And public opinion, mob justice, should never sway a determination of guilt or innocence. Vigilantism can have dangerous consequences. Woke warriors quick to fire off 280 characters of condemnation, casting ballots from their seat in the Trial by Tweet jury box (of which I am sure my guilty verdict will be swift, following the publication of this dissent), cannot avoid unnecessary casualties. Similar names, misquotes, deep fakes, bad edits, the potential for friendly fire casualties is unlimited.
Perhaps, Kevin Spacey has it all figured out. Maybe a simple, single choice to live your life despite your detractors is the ultimate, final victorious salvo in the Battle of the Alleged.
(Anthony Rapp did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.)
Ana Chevalier (www.anachevalier.com) is an award-winning author, journalist, and playwright. Her work has appeared in global publications including Toronto Star, Baltimore Sun, The Independent (UK), The Telegraph (UK), The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post, Forbes, YahooNews, and many more. A former award-winning child-actor/ entertainer, Ana has worked with Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, and Tony award winners (EGOT!) and Grand Ole Opry members on a variety of projects on and off-stage.
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