We Need To Talk About Kevin… (And Sexual Assault)

So I am joining the conversation on a topic that has dominated the news and social media, and shook the most glamourous echelons of society. Kevin Spacey.

 

Like so many others, this week I was immeasurably disappointed by the allegations made against Kevin Spacey, and how he himself challenged those accusations. Choosing to announce his sexuality in the same statement as addressing the claims against him was not only irresponsible, but cruel and the worst attempt of a smoke screen. Since Anthony Rapp has come forward, it has spurred on other men to step forward with similar stories. It has taken one brave individual to halt Spacey’s career, and if proved to be true, looks like it has rightly ended his once successful career. The Old Vic are said to be ‘deeply dismayed’ by Spacey’s alleged behaviour, and Netflix have announced that they will be cutting all ties with the actor despite him being the lead in one of their most popular shows. I can’t believe that anyone can argue that this is the wrong course of action. It shows strength and intolerance against sexual assault. But this has only been demonstrated when the victims are men.

All sexual assault is deplorable, and all victims should surely be believed and supported. But it has been reported that Netflix will not follow the same course of action with Danny Masterson, who is currently being investigated for sexual assault against four women. Netflix to employ and work Masterson, despite their hard line approach towards Spacey. The only difference surely is the gender of the victims. With Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Cosby before, it has taken dozens of women to come forward with complaints about their behaviour before people listened. It seems to boil down to a sad fact: men are believed, and women do not seem to be.

All cases show that it is the powerful who prey on the vulnerable, both male and female. Voices need to be heard on all abuse; it should not be that famous actors are applauded for condemning the actions of other famous men. It should be that the victims are believed, and entertainment networks, police forces, and those with authority in the acting industry ensure that these sexual predators are removed from their position of power, and experience the same punishment as any other sexual abuser.

 

Kevin Spacey has discredited himself, abused his position, and tarnished all his work (for me, ‘A Bug’s Life’ has been ruined for good). But will this be the start of a new way of challenging, and preventing this behaviour in Hollywood? Every time it makes people angry and shocked (despite so many people in the industry seemingly knowing that that this went on). Anger will only go so far. It is time for that anger to finally stop just causing talk of change, and actually be the change. These scandals and allegations should not ruin an abuser’s career. If they behave in such a way, they should not have a career to be ruined in the first place.

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