Hollywood actors and at least one L.G.B.T.Q.-rights organization have criticized Kevin Spacey’s half-apology, half-coming-out statement, which he posted to Twitter Sunday night after Anthony Rapp accused him of making unwanted sexual advances over 30 years ago. The Star Trek: Discovery actor claimed that in 1986—before either was a household name—Spacey tried to “seduce” him at a party. Rapp was 14. Spacey was 26.
“I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey wrote in the statement, before adding, “This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I now choose to live as a gay man.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and C.E.O. of GLAAD, tweeted Monday, “Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault. This isn’t a coming out story about Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and those who speak out about unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
For actors who are out of the closet, the criticism was even more detailed. Zachary Quinto called his choice to come out in this way “deeply sad and troubling.” The Star Trek actor, who has been publicly out since 2011, said, “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 L.G.B.T.Q. kids around the world—but as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempted to molest one.”
Quinto added, “I am sorry to hear of Anthony Rapp’s experience and subsequent suffering, and am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he thought it would serve him, just as his denial served him for so many years.”
Billy Eichner summed up the backlash even more succinctly:
Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
And advice columnist Dan Savage had his own take fit for 140 characters:
"I'm sorry, Mr. Spacey, but your application to join the gay community at this time has been denied."
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 30, 2017