Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Her Campus’s official positions.
In an interview with Buzzfeed this week, Star Trek: Discovery and Rent star, Anthony Rapp, came forward with allegations that Kevin Spacey sexually harassed him back in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26.
Rapp is the most recent in a long line of celebrities that have come forward with similar stories of harassment or abuse since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.
In response, Spacey penned a letter in which he claims that he does not remember that night. He says it happened over thirty years ago and that he was very drunk during the incident.
More disturbingly, Spacey used this statement as an opportunity to address the long-standing rumors that he’s gay. Here’s his letter, which he tweeted out late on October 29th:
Congrats on apologizing, Kevin. The problem, however, is that he seems to be trying to divert attention away from what he did to Rapp by getting people to focus on his sexuality instead. On top of how damaging it is to Rapp and everyone else who’s been coming forward recently to try and explain sexual assault with weak excuses, he’s bringing back the age-old conflation between being a gay man and being a sexual predator, which is completely inappropriate.
Why is this such a huge problem? The reason why this statement is so conflicting is because homophobic and socially conservative people have been using that rhetoric to discriminate against the LGBT+ community, especially gay men, since the very beginning of the gay rights movement. It was a propaganda tactic used to try and scare others away from supporting homosexuality, and was extremely damaging to individuals over the years.
Other celebrities are calling Spacey out for this egregious mistake:
Just a reminder, being gay or drunk does not necessarily make you a sexual predator or a pedophile, and Spacey should be ashamed for trying to hide behind those factors and for bringing the entire community down with him.
My heart goes out to Anthony Rapp and all the other survivors who have come forward.