Kevin Spacey’s decision to announce that he is “choosing to live as a gay man” in the same statement he addressed accusations of making a “sexual advance” towards a then-teenage Anthony Rapp has been slammed on Twitter.
In the early hours of Monday morning (30 October), Spacey responded to an interview ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ actor Anthony Rapp gave to BuzzFeed News, claiming that the Oscar-winner “tried to seduce him” at a party in 1986, when he was just 14 years old.
After offering his “sincerest apologies” to Anthony Rapp, and claiming he doesn’t recall the alleged events, Spacey then took the opportunity to “address other things about [his] life”, adding: “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.
“I want to deal with this honestly and openly, and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”
However, his decision to come out at the same time as speaking out over the allegations has not been well-received by many on social media, including former ‘Charmed’ actress Rose McGowan.
Rose - who has been at the forefront of the conversation surrounding accusations of sexual misconduct against film mogul Harvey Weinstein - urged the media to focus on Anthony’s allegations, rather than the coming out article, while also addressing the ‘House Of Cards’ star directly.
This was echoed by both ‘American Horror Story’ actor Billy Eichner and LGBT+ activist and author Dan Savage, who shared their take on the matter on their Twitter accounts.
Meanwhile, the author of the BuzzFeed piece in which Anthony Rapp initially detailed his allegations, Adam B Vary, has also posted a tweet urging people to focus on the more important issue.
He said: “Let’s be clear: The news is that Spacey used the allegation that he made a sexual advance on a [14-year-old] to come out…”
Several media outlets, most notably the news agency Reuters and broadcaster ABC News, have already come under fire for their reporting over the issue, after their headlines focussed more on the fact he’d come out than Anthony Rapp’s claims about Spacey’s sexual misconduct.
Minutes after Spacey’s statement, Anthony posted 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.”