Castration of Kevin Spacey (November 2017)

Fame is toxic. It requires a sense of responsibility as Kevin Spacey is now learning. He has been removed from the Sony movie All the Money in the World even though it is due to be released in 6 weeks, he has been removed from his lead role as Francis Underwood in House of Cards and as Netflix is no longer working with him; Gore, where plays Gore Vidal has also hit the dust. He has been fired by his agency CAA and his long-time publicist Staci Wolfe which signals they clearly believe his career as an A list actor – or any kind of actor at all is over. And the moral of the tale is you can’t sexually assault young men and teenagers, particularly from inside the closet and get away with it. No, no, no, not in this post Weinstein age of Hollywood. 
 
UK publicist and fame guru Mark Borkowski, author of The Fame Formula says that scandals of similar proportion have been going on in Hollywood since the words silver and screen appeared together in the same sentence. “In the old days, at the hint of a scandal the star would be put on an ocean liner and six weeks later by the time they had reached their destination the scandal would be over, but in the days of instant media it’s different. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Now it seems they are guilty until proven innocent and the trial is by the media itself.” 
     What did he think of All The Money In The World being restructured with Christopher Plummer replacing Spacey as John Paul Getty?
     “Hollywood is no longer the land of dreams but the land of corporate finance. Once they worked out that no one would want to see the movie with Spacey in it, technology means he could be instantly replaced by Christopher Plummer.” 
     Sony must be pleased with themselves – there’s no need for a marketing budget because a few weeks ago no one knew much about this movie based on John Paul Getty richest man in the world refusing to pay the ransom when his grandson John Paul Getty III had been kidnapped. Now everybody knows about it. 
     Apparently 87 year old Plummer was director Ridley Scott’s first choice for the role but he was told that he needed a bigger star. Now he’s playing it like Sony is standing by him. Sony obviously felt they had too much to lose because who in the world would pay to see a paedophile play John Paul Getty? 
     A lot of people used to love Woody Allen films and now they can’t bear to watch one. Word on the Hollywood streets is that Spacey not only deserves to lose his career but he should be castrated. 
    What started with Weinstein certainly didn’t end there. Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed women that worked for him or that he wished to cast in movies. Spacey fiddled about with children. See – much worse. No one’s going to forgive him. They’ve heard enough evidence that is condemning.
     I’ve never been an advocate of the #metoo stance – one person comes out and makes the accusation and then others who have been abused feel comfortable doing the same.
     As artistic director of the Old Vic 2004-15, Spacey was socially active in London, still denying he was a gay man.  Gay men that I knew in their late twenties, early thirties felt flattered when he touched their bottom in the Groucho Club. They’d been touched by an Oscar winner, a Tony winner, A Hollywood icon. They felt elevated. This is how yesterday’s flattery is today’s disgust. 
     The Hollywood gay community are voicing their disapproval of Spacey. Because he didn’t come out they feel it gave gay haters and the Christian right the chance to say that this Hollywood icon was ashamed and embarrassed about being gay, therefore everyone should be. But what is enraging them now is the fact that gayness has been linked with paedophilia. The timing of his coming out has been met with a scathing response – i.e. after he had already been accused of sexually harassing Anthony Rapp when he was 14. If he hoped to find warmth in the arms of the gay community he was mistaken.
     Staci Wolfe, before she felt it was impossible to continue representing him said last week said he was “Taking time to seek evaluation and treatment”.  This speaks volumes. It’s very rare that both agent and publicist would drop a client so immediately. It’s a sure sign that they have absolutely no faith that Spacey’s career can ever recover.
     But can it? Being replaced in a movie 6 weeks from release that will miss its AFM premiere however much it’s a marketing execs dream  is pretty serious. Netflix are saying they are no longer working with Kevin Spacey. He has been written out of House of Cards. I loved House of Cards. I loved the way Spacey’s character Francis Underwood was so manipulative, cruel, underhand, ruthless, without morals and now it turns out he was just playing himself. Do I feel personally cheated?  Yes I do.  Because I no longer feel I’m seeing acting that makes me ache it’s so good. I feel I’m seeing just another side of a very sleazy man.  
     Netflix is taking its lead from the new Hollywood climate that won’t stand for sleaze.  
     It also irks me that I mistook Spacey for an intelligent man – his gayness was an open secret. Nothing he would ever talk about or admit to. I thought it was quite clever that he never allowed his sexuality to define his roles. Yet last week when Anthony Rapp alleged that when he was fourteen in 1986 Spacey had sexually assaulted him, the actor chose that moment to release the statement that he is gay. ‘I choose now to live as a gay man.’ It was the now word that got me. Like overnight he’s suddenly gay. Like he was never not gay.  The LGBT community were enraged that he should come out as gay and in the same sentence saying he couldn’t remember the encounter with Rapp over 30 years ago. 
Perhaps he couldn’t remember because there were so many. He knew that his game was up and other boys would make their allegations. And still he did nothing. He just waited for the sleaze to hit the fan. 
     And #metoo come into play. After the first teenager there were two more and a third who didn’t want to be named. And then eight current or former House of Cards workers complained that Spacey made the production a toxic workplace with one of them alleging sexual assault.  
     Another personal source from House of Cards says that regardless of his sexuality no one liked him. “It was all about him. He didn’t care about anybody else and the more success he had with House of Cards the worse he became. It just pushed him over the top so I guess that means the harder he fell.”

     Jon Bernthal an actor who previously admired Spacey, says that his behaviour on the set Baby Driver was also reprehensible. Not in a sexual way. He was just rude and a bully. “Working with him, made me lose all respect for him and I was enormously disappointed.”

   And this is new Hollywood. We no longer apparently tolerate bullies, yet bullying goes on every day. 
     I’ve seen an A List actress with her personal assistant in a celebrity shoe shop on the Sunset Plaza. The star in question refused to speak directly to the sales assistant and barked orders at her PA.  It was abusive.  Her assistant simply shrugged and got on with it.  Hollywood personal assistants are well paid. Is that the point? That money solves everything and if your pay cheque is high enough it’s OK to be abused? Certainly the pay for an A list actor is millions of dollars. Does that mean they are also abused? Or does that mean that they are entitled to give out millions of dollars’ worth of abuse, sexual or otherwise. 
     Fame is of course toxic. If you treat people badly it will catch up with you. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but in Spacey’s case his behaviour stretches out over decades. One can’t help thinking was it only one fourteen year old boy in 1986? 
     US filmmaker Tony Montana claims he was groped by the actor in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. He says he was left with PTSD for six months after Spacey “forcefully” grabbed his crotch.
     The sixteen year old Justin Dawes had a situation when Spacey was 29 that he described as “sleazy and manipulative”. Dawes met Spacey after a performance of a play that Spacey was in and Spacey invited him and a friend to his apartment to watch Chinatown. Instead he made cocktails and played porn on the TV.
     “We all had a drink, and we were kind of like, ‘Oh, no one else is coming?’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, no one else decided to come,’ and he never mentioned that this porn was playing,” Dawes said. “It was really awkward.” 
     A journalist in the early 2000s interviewed him at his office in the Old Vic theatre and Spacey invited him to a club where he began reaching between his legs and grabbing his genitals. The journalist said that he told the actor he was in a relationship with a woman and when he tried to leave the club Spacey was furious. “This man was screaming in my face outside of the main bar area, red-faced, spit flying out of his mouth, screaming at me with fury because I didn’t want to f**k him,” he claimed.  “He was actually saying that I did want to and I was a coward. That was his tactic. It was unbelievable.”
     It doesn’t seem like many people have anything endearing to say about Spacey and yes it does seem a little harsh and I have a feeling that the men who have spoken out against him are not the only ones. They are obviously now ashamed that they were once flattered by his attention. I know this means he is guilty until proved innocent but he seems to be doing a really bad job of coming over as innocent of anything. 
     His story is made more rancid by the fact he was so covert about being gay, the people who he’d abused seem to respect his decision to stay in the closet and didn’t want to out him but that’s where the poison starts and start it has. But not where it finishes. 
     There are many other gay actors in Hollywood who fear for their careers, who don’t want to swap action leads for gay best friends, who don’t want to sacrifice a subsequent career in politics. Its not about being gay but who they have abused and got away with it because they live a covert while famous life.  But in the new Hollywood  there are less secrets and his toxic  wildfire is impossible to stop. Come out come out where ever you are ……..or some one is coming to get you

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Posted November 30, 2017 by ChrissyIley in category "articles