When Ashley Judd publicly accused film producer and former executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, a shock wave went through Hollywood, starting a ripple of effect with woman after woman coming forward to share a story of assault committed by Weinstein. Following the out-pour of support from other women affected by Weinstein, Judd sat down with Diane Sawyer for an exclusive interview where she detailed the encounter she had with Weinstein many years ago. After a few weeks, accusations began piling up and now at least 78 accusers have come forward to share their sickening encounters with Weinstein, leading Weinstein to be fired by his own company and completely disgraced in the entertainment industry.
It’s doubtful that anyone will ever work with him again, since he is now under criminal investigation due to the allegations against him. Weinstein’s name will go down in history, not for any of his work, but for opening the floodgates in Hollywood, with numerous stories of sexual harassment and assault now coming to light.
Now, after all of these women have come forward, a new accusation has been made, not at Weinstein, but at actor Kevin Spacey. On October 29, in an interview with Buzzfeed, actor Anthony Rapp told his story of an unwanted sexual encounter that occurred between him and Spacey while both were performing in Broadway shows. According to Buzzfeed, Rapp says that Spacey befriended him and at one point, Spacey “invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.” At the time of the incident, Rapp would have been 14 and Spacey, 28, meaning that Rapp was a minor when this occurred. After the article from Buzzfeed began circulating, Spacey chose to respond with a statement on Twitter where he says that he was “beyond horrified to hear his [Rapp’s] story” and that he owes Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” He then goes on to use this opportunity to address his sexuality and stated that he is now choosing “to live as a gay man.” Spacey received criticism not only for the accusation, but also how he chose to respond. To some, it seemed as if Spacey’s coming out was an attempt to draw attention away from the actions he was being accused of. Unsurprisingly, Rapp is not the only victim. As of today, there are eight men who have come forward to claim sexual misconduct against Spacey, with many more cases that have gone unreported.
Kevin Spacey’s career has now hit a wall after these accusations have come to light. According to a CNN report, several cast and crew members working on the set of House of Cards allege that Spacey “engaged in harassment and created a toxic environment during the production.” Spacey also apparently groped or touched at least two of the crew members inappropriately on the House of Cards set; one of these incidents was reported to a supervisor, the other was not. As a result of this new information being broadcasted, Netflix has now suspended the production of House of Cards indefinitely and has also fired Spacey from his leading role on the show. There are rumors that Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, will be killed off in the newest season and his wife, Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, will lead the show through its last season, but nothing is certain at this time.
Netflix has also cancelled the release of Gore, a film expected to debut in 2018 with Spacey as the lead. Netflix has very quickly cut all ties with Spacey, leaving him not only without job prospects, but without a publicist or an agent, both of which who dropped him as clients very soon after the allegations against him were made public. Spacey has not personally commented on his now bleak future since his initial Twitter apology post. Although, according to the Hollywood Reporter, representatives of Spacey claim that he “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” but it is unclear what this “treatment” is that he is receiving. Although surprising and disappointing, Spacey’s fall from grace was a necessary step towards creating a safer environment on production sets and a better atmosphere in Hollywood. It’s about time that the public is being made aware of these issues because now Hollywood can continue the process of eradicating these abusers of power and start anew.
The allegations pointed at these men has left most of the country unsettled. The dirty laundry has been aired out to the public, and now the perfect lives of the elite, rich, and famous, don’t seem so perfect after all. At least now the women and men that have felt unable to speak out about their experiences for fear of their careers and safety, finally have the courage to come forward. However, it seems that these stories are just the first of many yet to be uncovered.
With more and more people coming forward, it seems as though there has been a shift in Hollywood and although it was unprecedented, it was a necessary shift needed to uncover the abuses of power hidden just beneath the surface; what the media wasn’t able to show the public.
Here’s hoping for a more transparent Hollywood and a continuation of the work begun by the strong women and men, who stand as survivors of sexual assault, to keep exposing the figures in power who have systematically fooled the rest of us. Kevin Spacey’s “house of cards” has collapsed, whose will be next?