No. You don’t get to do that, Mr. Spacey.
After Star Trek: Discovery and Rent actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct in a BuzzFeed report published earlier the same day, Spacey quickly responded in a Tweet that many immediately categorised as a deflection:
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
While lengthy, the exposé deserves just as much of a read, with the main takeaway being that in 1986, “Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.”
The problem with the Academy Award-winning actor’s response stems from the second paragraph, wherein he makes a sharp turn to make the issue about him being gay (Rapp is also openly gay), and that it’s time to start examining his own behaviour.
And oh boy, Twitter didn’t hold back:
using "i'm gay" as defence for sexual harassment is the lowest and most disgusting move someone could pull. fuck you, kevin spacey.
— maria teresa (@westerlnds) October 30, 2017
kevin spacey does not get to have a poignant coming out moment after he attempted statutory rape. he doesn't get control of this narrative.
— 👻 djinni maxwell 👻 (@astroblob) October 30, 2017
Feels kinda gross that you’re turning a story that should be about the victim (s)…into a story about you? Congrats on coming out, I guess?
— Jordan (@jordansdiamonds) October 30, 2017
"Kevin Spacey is accused of making inappropriate advances towards a 14 year old male."
Spacey: I'm gay. pic.twitter.com/yNfzE9jg43
— W👁ke (@Natural_OneDurr) October 30, 2017
I have absolutely no respect for Kevin Spacey. Trying to cover up Anthony's story by coming out? You're trash.
— Lauren: Ragnarok (@bionicblanchett) October 30, 2017
good night everyone except Kevin Spacey and his PR team because that was a total desperation move. yikes.
— spooky duley 👻 (@Advil) October 30, 2017
Some also pointed out how the response affects the community:
Fuck you Kevin Spacey for throwing the community under the bus like this
— Micholas Mouse 👻 (@le_munchkine) October 30, 2017
My heart aches for the gay and queer folk who now have to listen to "Kevin Spacey is a gay perv therefore all gays are dangerous pervs"
— Visakan Veerasamy (@visakanv) October 30, 2017
Bizarrely enough, there’s balance in the force. Some fans offered words of praise and support on a Facebook post from his verified page that reposted the statement:
“This statement shows courage, honesty, and contrition. I wish Kevin well.”
“You are better than those who want to destroy you.”
“I admire and love you more…Never stop being you.”
“You are a class act…Live your life with dignity and hold your head high!”
“Beautiful honest heartfelt message Kevin <3 My girlfriend and I were honored to meet you at Dave’s namesake restaurant…”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting behind a guy who you feel like you know because he’s entertained you for decades, or met once at a restaurant called Dave’s.
But like many things in life, it comes down to timing. This DailyBeast story couldn’t have put it better:
“Spacey choosing now to come out, in order to spin Rapp’s sexual assault allegation, is underhanded behavior worthy of his character Frank Underwood on House of Cards.”
“For Spacey to say, ‘if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,’ implies that when most gay men get drunk, it’s second nature for them to prey on a 14-year-old boy. It calls to mind hateful rhetoric like Anita Bryant’s 1977 Save Our Children campaign, which sought to associate gay men and child predators.”
“It will absolutely overshadow Rapp’s story, which is exactly what Spacey was counting on. At least now we know why Spacey has fiercely guarded his ‘private life’, as he calls it. He was merely safeguarding his most powerful weapon until he could use it on Rapp and the gay community he now claims he has chosen to be a part of.”
Hammer, meet nail.