GLAAD has issued a statement condemning Kevin Spacey’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct and warning media organizations not to “gloss over” the story of survivorship told by Anthony Rapp.
“Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said. “This is not a coming out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
In a piece published Sunday by BuzzFeed, Rapp claimed Spacey invited him to a party at Spacey’s apartment back in 1986, when Rapp was just 14 years old. Rapp alleged Spacey drunkenly approached him after swaying in the doorway. “He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” Rapp recalled. “But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”
Rapp then clarified that “[Spacey] was trying to get with me sexually,” and said that he was able to escape the situation after Spacey asked, “Are you sure you wanna go?” (Spacey was 26 at the time of the alleged incident.)
In response, Spacey apologized to Rapp, adding that he did not remember the incident. “I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” he said.
Spacey also came out as gay in the statement, a decision which sparked outrage on social media for the way it seemed to conflate alleged predatory behavior with same-sex attraction. Gay celebrities including Wanda Sykes, Billy Eichner, and Dan Savage were among those to call him out. “You do not get to ‘choose’ to hide under the rainbow,’ Sykes tweeted. See more tweets below.