Kevin Spacey’s Continued Epic Downfall

Sarah Reinbrecht, Scarlet Staff

After the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, multiple men have been accused of sexual assault. Kevin Spacey, an actor most recently seen on House of Cards, is among the numerous men to undergo various accusations. Fortunately, he faced multiple repercussions, sparking hope that perhaps the culture around sexual assault is changing. However, what makes Spacey’s case particularly unsettling is his way of deflecting the attention by coming out as gay. Generally, people who are coming out as gay should be accepted and celebrated. However, Spacey’s timing of his decision to come out as gay may have been intended as a distraction from his behavior, while also perpetuating the stereotype that gay men and women are inherently predatory.

On Oct. 29, Spacey addressed the issue of the allegations against him as well as his sexuality in the same statement that was issued on twitter. It is curious that he would lump those two announcements together as they are unrelated. He describes how he wants to “deal with this [his sexuality] honestly and openly,” which is commendable, and may translate to leading a more open life in general. However, his denial of the allegations in the previous paragraph contradict his goal to be more honest and open and “[examine his] own behavior.” Thus, the odd pairing of denying sexual assault claims and coming out seem to serve another purpose. No one can truly know what Spacey’s intentions were when he issued that statement, but considering the context of the situation, it is reasonable to conclude that coming out was intended to be a distraction.

Further, Spacey and anyone else is allowed to publicize their sexuality when and how they feel is best. But Spacey is a public figure, and with that comes responsibility. Therefore, when he announces he identifies as gay, he is representing the gay community. This is unfortunate and unfair, but true. So, when Spacey conflates sexual assault allegations against him with his sexuality, he only perpetuates the idea that gay men, and other members of the LGBT+ community are predatory. This is a harmful and inaccurate stereotype that misrepresents the gay community, and for Spacey to perpetuate it in the slightest is unfair to everyone else in the gay community, especially those less privileged than him.

Ultimately, Spacey’s statement seemed to do more harm than good. Despite the various explanations and excuses for his behavior, it seems he is still feeling the repercussions of his inappropriate actions. Perhaps we should just focus on the success of removing a dangerous man from power rather than his defense of himself, as Spacey’s attempts at distracting the country and redeeming himself only come up short. Considering his behavior, how could they not?