Kevin Spacey’s apology statement in the wake of Anthony Rapp’s allegations that he made sexual advances towards him at the age of 14 has been torn apart on Twitter, both for his choice of words and the fact he used the opportunity to reveal he was “choosing to live his life as a gay man”.
Despite sharing just two paragraphs, Spacey is now facing multiple backlashes, and for anyone who’s still in the dark over why what he’s said is controversial, here’s a line-by-line description of everything the Oscar-winner wrote, and why people are so pissed off with him…
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear this story.”
From the off, many are saying that Spacey is attempting to distance himself from the accusations by sharing his surprise (or, indeed, his “horrified” reaction) to hearing how he allegedly conducted himself with then-teenage Anthony Rapp.
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been 30 years ago…”
As you can imagine, a lot of people are taking issue with the fact Spacey seems to be using the three decades that have passed since the alleged events transpired as an “excuse” for not remembering.
“...But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour…”
People are taking the “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour” line as undersell of the century, with many pointing out that alcohol intake doesn’t excuse alleged behaviour such as the events described by Anthony Rapp.
“...I am sorry for the feelings he describes having all these years.”
Probably worth pointing out that the only time Kevin Spacey says the word “sorry” is in relation to Anthony Rapp’s feelings, rather than any sort of activity on his part. But don’t worry, this hasn’t gone unnoticed…
And so ends paragraph one. Onto Spacey’s big news…
“I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
So first off, there’s the fact that he’s choosing now of all moments to come out as gay, having been accused of “trying to seduce” a then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp at a party in his apartment. Many have accused him of using his coming out as a potential distraction from the accusations (which, if it were his plan, actually worked with some media outlets).
Others have expressed their concern that coming out as gay (or rather that he’s “choosing to live his life as a gay man”) in the same breath as acknowledging accusations of “sexual advances” towards a minor could have serious repercussions in terms of perception of the LGBT+ community.
In the hours since his statement was posted, many have accused the ‘House Of Cards’ actor of “throwing them under the bus” and “conflating” two unrelated issues with his words.
Minutes after Spacey’s statement was first posted online, Anthony Rapp shared a string of tweets explaining his decision to step forward about his experiences, saying: “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.”