The hits just keep on coming. Plenty of people are coming forward and telling their stories about having been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. The latest, actor Anthony Rapp, named names and in this case, it was Oscar winner, Kevin Spacey.
Rapp says Spacey attempted to put the moves on him in 1986. At the time Rapp was only 14 while Spacey was 26. Rapp’s account is pretty detailed, and it would be odd for him to make up a claim out of whole cloth thirty years after the fact. Spacey didn’t deny it and instead issued an “apology” that essentially said, “Hey I was drunk, and I’m also going to live my life as a gay man.”
Patrick covered how the media covered Spacey’s mea culpa. Many media outlets, naturally headlined the story of Spacey coming out (which only served to be a confirmation – pretty much everybody in creation believed Spacey is gay) rather than admitting to the fact he tried to seduce an underage teenage boy.
The question is, “Why?”
Credit to Spacey’s public relations people. They put together a way for him to cloud the issue and it worked, at least temporarily. Perhaps they did not expect the blowback they got when the headlines focused solely on Spacey’s sexuality, but it’s hard for people on Twitter to compete with the reach of ABC News.
It is difficult to imagine another scenario where the press would play get-along the way they did. One has to wonder if “coming out” is still considered to be “brave” in some quarters. It’s one thing for a professional football player to announce they’re gay, but a famous Hollywood actor? That isn’t news.
Another revelation in the Spacey story is another “open secret” issue. From The Independent:
As part of a discussion on sexual misconduct on Radio 4’s Today, Victoria Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, was asked whether she was aware of any stories about Spacey when he was working in London, as artistic director of the Old Vic.
“I think that many people in the theatre and in the creative industries have been aware of many stories of many people over a lot of years, and Kevin Spacey would be one of the people that people have had concerns about, yes,” she said.
Some in the industry say they were warned to stay away from him:
When does this stop? And when will there be a news outlet that will take the lead and do some serious investigative reporting? The stories coming out are not one-off incidents of somebody being rude and crude. We’re talking about crimes.
The press must report the truth. What if Spacey got “lucky” with another underage victim? What if they wanted to come forward and all they saw was ABC News and Reuters headlining Spacey’s sexuality and not his misdeeds?
It’s time for the press to step up, do their job, and begin to uncover the rot that permeates Hollywood below the glitzy surface. The Hollywood community has been operating with impunity for decades. It’s time to pull back the curtain.