Kevin Spacey on stage during the 86th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. 

After he was accused Sunday of attempting to sexually assault a minor, Kevin Spacey apologized for an incident he claims not to remember and then said he was gay.

The “House Of Cards” star announced that he is living "as a gay man" after actor Anthony Rapp accused the 58-year-old of an incident that occurred in 1986. Spacey said he does not remember the alleged incident, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26, "but if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

Actors are usually hailed for coming out, but Spacey is being criticized right and left.

Why? Because he is using his sexuality as a deflection from the fact he allegedly molested a teenage boy.

The key phrase is “if I did behave then as he describes.” This is a textbook example of how to subtly question the veracity of an allegation without attacking the victim: “I don’t recall groping you, but your lingering sadness breaks my heart.”

Actor Zachary Quinto was amongst the many who criticized Spacey.

“It is deeply sad and troubling that this is how Kevin Spacey has chosen to come out,” Quinto said in a statement. “Not by standing up as a point of pride — in the light of all his many awards and accomplishments — thus inspiring tens of thousands of struggling LGBTQ kids around the world. But as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempted to molest one.”

Throughout his career, Spacey has kept his private life just that. Despite the idea that "everybody knows" who is gay within Hollywood, Spacey never flaunted his private life.

So why now, when you are being accused of sexual assault?

Blending homosexuality with child predation is something that homophobic people have been doing for years. Spacey fueling this is almost as sick as the original allegation.

Obviously, it is excellent that Spacey can be honest about his sexuality. But the context in which the actor chose to reveal this fact about himself encourages unfortunate stereotypes that associate members of the LGBT community with pedophilia.

Spacey’s deflection highlights the problem with powerful men in business, similar to Harvey Weinstein. Spacey’s attempt to co-opt Rapp’s accusations, which took the actor over 30 years to muster the courage to discuss, almost undermined the fact Spacey is a predator. Media outlets rushed to announce something a majority of people in the entertainment business already knew, minimizing the fact that it only came out because he was accused of being a pedophile.

More than three decades after allegedly molesting Rapp, Spacey also violated the LGBTQ community he never really wanted to publicly be a part of until he deemed it a necessary diversion.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.


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