Hollywood has commanded American and international attention for decades. Whether it’s the release of a major blockbuster or relationships between stars, the press and America are always watching. It’s no surprise, then, that Hollywood has once again captured our attention, but this time for different reasons altogether.
On Oct. 29, actor Anthony Rapp accused Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault. In the following weeks, 20 men have accused Spacey of sexual misconduct, including harassment, assault and attempted date and statutory rape. Each of these men alleges that Spacey forcibly engaged them in nonconsensual sexual behavior. Many of these men, including Rapp, claim to have been minors at the time of assault.
The controversy doesn’t end there. Spacey responded to Rapp’s accusation just hours after the statement released. On Twitter, Spacey publicly “apologized” to Rapp for “drunkenly inappropriate behavior” that he doesn’t remember occurring “over 30 years ago.” After this pseudo-apology, Spacey ended the tweet with an announcement of his sexuality. He claimed that his formerly closeted status as a gay man caused these outlets of sexual behavior. Understandably, the LGBTQ+ community was outraged by the declaration, accusing Spacey of using their platform to deflect serious accusations of sexual misconduct.
This isn’t the first time accusations have been made against Hollywood moguls. Celebrities such as Courtney Love, Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman attempted to warn the American public as early as 2005. Both Wood and Feldman alleged Hollywood moguls’ involvement in an “underground sex ring” complicit in the abuse of minors, among others. On Nov. 10, Feldman launched an Indiegogo campaign, announcing a plan to expose six alleged abusers in Hollywood and his commitment to the cause.
Spacey has since been dropped by agents and lost the starring role of popular Netflix series “House of Cards.” Since the allegations against Spacey, more than 29 men in politics, film, television and news have been accused of assault. Many big names promise continued exposure and retribution. Are we experiencing a revolution planning to overturn hierarchies that protect and enable sexual abuse? Or a media phenomenon doomed to fade as attention wanes?
The ultimate consequences of these allegations remain to be seen.
Cover photo courtesy of Out Magazine.