Actors are usually hailed for coming out but Kevin Spacey is being criticized.
That’s because many are taking exception with the “House of Cards” star revealing his sexuality as part of an apology in the wake of an accusation of sexual misconduct.
On Sunday, Buzzfeed published a story in which “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him in 1986 when Rapp was a 14-year-old child actor and Spacey was 26.
In response to the allegations, Spacey tweeted that he was “beyond horrified to hear [Rapp’s] story.”
Spacey also tweeted that he did not remember the encounter.
“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” he wrote.
And he went on to include confirmation of something that had been buzzed about in Hollywood for years — that Spacey is gay.
“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women,” Spacey wrote. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
Several celebrities used social media to express their displeasure at Spacey connecting allegations of sexual misconduct involving a child to being a gay man.
“Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out,” actor and comedian Billy Eichner tweeted.
The gay community has long battled the perception that homosexuality is somehow tied to child molestation.
Vanity Fair movie critic Richard Lawson tweeted “This exposes the gay community to a million tired old criticisms and conspiracies” and added “How dare you implicate us all in this.”
“Coming out as a gay man is not the same thing as coming out as someone who preyed on a 14-year-old,” Lawson wrote. “Conflating those things is disgusting.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive officer of GLAAD, responded to Spacey’s method of coming out.
“Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” Ellis 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.”