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We Need To Talk About Kevin

OPINION: DNA reader Christopher Conti shares his thoughts on the Kevin Spacey abuse allegations.

I can only describe the reaction to the Kevin Spacey allegations as a “witch hunt”. Let’s remember that Anthony Rapp’s account is only supported by Anthony Rapp, and let’s remember that it is only an allegation.

Even if it is true, when Rapp (14 at the time) asked Spacey (26 at the time) to stop, he did. So the story is this: young gay man, drunk, makes a pass at a younger gay man (also possibly drunk) but nothing happens. Big deal!

The actor Roberto Cavavos claims Spacey “fondled” him in a bar. So what? That’s not a crime. Then Harry Dreyfus, son of actor Richard Dreyfus, claims Spacey touched his thigh and crotch – while the three of them were reading a script together. Right. Next Mark Ebenhoch, a military advisor on the film Outbreak says Spacey suggested they have sex, but he turned him down. The end. It’s not criminal, unethical or immoral for one adult to suggest to another adult that they have sex.   

Heather Unruh, a US TV presenter, fronts the media sobbing and claims Spacey “sexually assaulted” her teenage son. In fact, Spacey and her 18-year-old (adult) son were drinking in a bar together, Spacey made an advance the young man rebuffed, Spacey went to the bathroom and the young man left. Again, nothing happened.

I can’t help thinking his vilification has a lot do with punishing him for being gay and for being a closeted gay all these years.

There’s now a long list of “anonymous” accusers saying similar things, but not identifying themselves. Doesn’t it feel like all these people are just jumping on the Spacey-bashing bandwagon?

As a result, Spacey’s TV show has been cancelled, scenes from his new film with Ridley Scott have been reshot with another actor and the Gore Vidal biopic he was working on has been cancelled.

Don’t we think this reaction is a bit hysterical and over-the-top? I’m not defending Spacey’s actions. He’s a sleaze. He’s a gropey older man. He’s a person in a position of power being opportunistic. And I obviously don’t think it’s ever right for an adult to pressure a kid into sex. But being an opportunistic sleaze isn’t a crime – unless it proceeds to actual sexual assault and, so far, no one has claimed it’s gone that far.

We have all been in a bar or at a party where someone with wandering hands has touched us up, or someone has unexpectedly touched us in a surprising and sexual way. You look around and you find the groper unattractive and you tell them firmly to stop. But if you look around and you find the groper attractive you respond differently. It is a sexy experience that’s hot and a turn-on. Spacey doesn’t realise that he’s not considered hot by the people he gropes. But wouldn’t it be a different story if these people had been groped by Ryan Reynolds or Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt?

Gropey older guys are just a fact of life, and with kids using G to party, gropey younger guy are also a fact of life. It’s hard to defend Spacey, and no one is publicly, but I can’t help thinking his vilification has a lot do with punishing him for being gay and for being a closeted gay all these years.

Guys, if someone makes an unwanted sexual advance, just tell them to fuck off. If it gets more serious, report it to the police. Don’t wait 30 years until the guy is famous and you can ruin his career.

 

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Read more readers’ opinions and news features in the latest issue of DNA.

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DNA is Australia's best-selling magazine for gay men. Every month, you'll find great feature stories, celebrity profiles, pop culture reviews and sensational photography of some of the world's sexiest male models in our fashion stories. DNA was launched in Australia in 2000 and is now available worldwide in bookstores throughout Canada, US, UK and Europe.

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