The reactions to the Harvey Weinstein scandal continue to illuminate the darkest corners: Kevin Spacey’s reputation was destroyed after actor Anthony Rapp came forward accusing Spacey of sexual assault.
Instead of apologizing, Spacey deepened the hole he’d dug himself into, using the publicity surrounding the allegations to come out as gay. “As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women,” he tweeted. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
“MRC [Media Rights Capital] and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew,” read a statement.
Following Rapp’s accusation, several other men who’d been sexually assaulted by Spacey came forward, most having worked with Spacey in the past. Eight people came forward to anonymously accuse Spacey of producing a “toxic” work environment, one of them a production assistant who claims he’d been tasked to pick Spacey up from an offsite location and drive him to the House of Cards set.
“I was in a state of shock,” he says, alleging that Spacey had tried to put his hands down the assistant’s pants. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”
Despite Netflix’s clear stance on Spacey and the future of his employment, however, it seems that Spacey cannot actually be fired. His contract with MRC and Netflix does not contain a morality clause – which means that he cannot be fired for personal reasons. According to a statement made by sources close to Spacey, the actor can only be fired if he becomes “unavailable” or “incapacitated,”and therefore unable to fulfill his obligations for production.
While Spacey does remain technically employed for the moment, it is clear his career has already begun to circle the drain. He has already been dropped by both his publicist, Staci Lowe, and his talent agency. Netflix has decided not to move forward with Spacey’s next project, a biopic about writer Gore Vidal. Movies containing Spacey are scrambling to be reshot and his role replaced, most notably the film All the Money In the World, which plans to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer.
As Spacey tried to erase what he’d done to Hollywood, Hollywood tried – and succeeded – to erase him.
Spacey is currently seeking treatment at The Meadows, a recovery facility in Arizona that deals extensively with drug rehab and psychological trauma. It offers activities such as acupuncture, tai chi, and horseback riding all at the hefty price of $36,000 a month.
Is there hope for Spacey’s career to make a recovery? Bryan Cranston seems to believe so. “If [he] were to show us that [he was] … truly sorry and [is] making amends,” he said in an interview with BBC, “maybe down the road there is room for that [a way back]. Maybe it’s possible.”
Kevin Spacey has proven that sexual predators can come in any form: there is no single cookie-cutter image that represents just who can be, and has been, a sexual harasser. It’s time for the accused to take responsibility for their actions, past and present, and for the legal system to bring justice to the victims who have spoken up after decades of silence.
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