bride of frankenstein: kevin fucking spacey

Kevin fucking Spacey.
I don't give a personal fuck about Harvey "Bridge Troll" Weinstein.
I don't give a personal fuck about Scott "You're Welcome Ladies" Rosenberg.
But fuuuuuck, you guys. I liked Kevin Spacey.



Which is why I'm writing this right now.
I don't want to believe Anthony Rapp, but I absolutely do.
It would be easy to just skip this one. I've done a lot of rants lately and nobody would blame me for changing the subject.
Which is why I'm writing this right now.
It's easy for me to condemn two men that I've never felt a personal connection to; as a producer and a screenwriter, respectively, Weinstein and Rosenberg aren't personalities in the way that Spacey is. We don't hear them talk. We don't watch them transform into characters who are funny, strange, kind, violent, charming. They never make us laugh on Jimmy Fallon. They're nuts-and-bolts guys, money men, shot-callers, not the draw.
But Kevin Spacey? Verbal Kint? Lester Burnham? Francis Underwood? These might not be nice guys, but fuck me, they're magnetic. These are guys I loved to hate, the deliciously icky, sometimes full-on slimy antiheroes I rooted for while giggling. Kevin Spacey was one of those actors that I had on my "I wish he could be in everything" list, along with Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman and Mahershala Ali.
I don't want to believe that a person I admire is capable of sexual assault. What does that say about me? That I was duped? That I'm sick? So this morning, I wanted to look away.
But the time for bullshit avoidance is over for all of us.

Am I really willing to say,
"I'm not going to listen to the uncomfortable truth because
he does a great Christopher Walken impression"?

No.
Are you willing to say that? If so, go ahead and say it out loud. "I'm willing to forgive this because he's funny and cool and I like House of Cards." Don't sit in silence waiting for the moment to pass. Own it. You're willing. We deserve to know that about you. We deserve to know this about ourselves.
We are willing to pardon so much for so little.
I think it's worth exploring, this tendency to step out of the way of the brutal truth, to protect the finely-woven illusions we hold about people who hurt people. Especially if they're cool, popular people.

I can think of three reasons I personally could cherry-pick my outrage about people accused of sexual assault:
1. It's yucky. Sexual assault fucking sucks, and it makes me feel sucky to think or talk about. It makes me feel extra sucky to think about when it comes from a person I really thought I'd like to sit next to at dinner sometime.
2. I am conditioned to believe that some people are nice people: smart, funny, witty, charming, well-dressed, successful people. I am conditioned to believe that other people are not nice people: strange, unattractive, brutish, shabby, unsuccessful people. We can all pick Prince Charming out of a lineup, and I have innate skepticism that a person whose eyes crinkle merrily like Santa's could actually be the throw-a-child-down-and-climb-on type. Even though I 100% believe Anthony Rapp, I do not want to.
3. I have remained casual friends with people who have hurt, pressured, and scared me. It hurts to reveal that I still wonder if the accuser's dignity is worth as much as the trouble, mess, and humiliation of coming forward.
Yes, it's humiliating to say, I wonder if it's worth it. I wondered if I was worth it when it happened to me, and I decided it wasn't. I was afraid that someone would say out loud the thoughts I couldn't stop thinking: "Why should we believe you?" and "It doesn't sound like it was that bad."
I am embarrassed and angry that I still wonder today if Anthony Rapp's statement was "worth it." Such a mess. So much ugly talk. Everybody's okay, right? No harm done, right? Nobody's cutting or huffing or pregnant or dead. It's not that bad. It's not that bad. It's not that bad.

Think of it as taking a bite out of an apple and saying, damn this apple is tasty. This might be the best fucking apple you've ever had. And then you spin it around and it's rotten in the back. You throw the apple away. You stop eating it. But part of you wishes you had just never turned the fucking thing around to begin with. That was a damn tasty apple, even if it might have made you sick. It might have been worth it.
And when you think about that apple, will you remember it as the rotten apple? Or will you remember how tasty it was, and how shitty it was that it got ruined? That's why I'm writing this right now.

Too often, the people we support aren't the people we believe, they're the people we value.

Sexual assault allegations are a litmus test, a way to determine who has the most social currency:
  • Casey Affleck won an Oscar; Nate Parker's career is in a tailspin. 
  • Woody Allen is still making a fuckton of movies with big money and big stars.
  • Louis CK just literally released a movie about pedophilia and sexual assault; Bill Cosby is a pariah.
The punishments are just; the pardons are what's fucked up.
But the measure of our dedication to protecting dignity isn't in the way we respond to obsolete screenwriters or unattractive bullies who are already on the way down, but in how we respond to charismatic, funny, good-looking actors who are grown from the same shitty seeds.
If we are weeding our garden we have to yank out all those prickly fucks: the gnarly thorny ones, the tiny harmless-looking ones, and even the ones that bloom so prettily we can't help but smile. Fuck that shit, girl.
Yank it.
When I ask you to be humble, Chad, when I ask you to understand yourself and recognize where you are that rotten apple, too, please know that I am doing the same fucking work over here at my house.

So here's my Fuck You list today:
Fuck you, Kevin fucking Spacey. The fact that the strongest defense you have is that you're "not sure" if you did it? That's the fucking ballgame, son. Sit down. He was a child. That makes you the monster, and whether you came out of his closet or from under his bed, you're still a fucking nightmare.
Fuck you again, Kevin fucking Spacey. Your "apology" was awe-inspiring, in that it was simultaneously the slickest shit I've seen in awhile, and totally transparent. "Wow, that sounds terrible, I'm sorry if I did that I don't even remember, you must be exhausted from all your sad little feelings poor thing :: PIVOT :: I'm gay let's talk about that!"
That's like my cousin came to my wedding, got shitfaced, punched the groom, and then we got a note that said:
I have a lot of respect for your husband. I'm beyond horrified to hear that I punched him at his wedding. I don't remember it at all, it was 30 hours ago. But if I did behave as you say, then I owe your husband an apology for my deeply inappropriate groom-punching, and I am sorry for the black eye he has been carrying all these hours.
This event has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that you have all been wondering when I'm going to make it official with Rebecca. Well, guess what? I proposed and she said yes! We're thinking about Bermuda in the spring, but stay tuned for more details. Love is in the air! PS she's pregnant.
Subtle pivot, hoss. I love how you packaged a half-acknowledgment of your gross behavior with a coming-out announcement that it's unacceptable to bash. It looks like your PR team has executed the classic Costco Gambit: take something that people love to buy, and slap it in a package with something foul. It'll sell enough.
Don't non-apologize. Just apologize. If you were drunk and don't remember, and he was not, believe him. Believe him. Value him enough to apologize unequivocally, none of this "if it's true" malarkey. As I said before, the time for bullshit avoidance is over.

Fuck you thrrrrice, Kevin fucking Spacey, because you literally "apologized" for aggressively assaulting a young boy, and in the same fucking press release confirmed that you have been living as a gay man. You... you just... I can't... I am not going to try to describe the harm that you just did because these people have already done a better job than I could ever do, so read their thing while I sit in the corner and punch a pillow.

Fuck you, Reuters. For this:



"Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey declares he lives life as a gay man." Uh, you buried the lead there, you spineless fuckwits. What's next, "Bill Cosby shares his secret for velvety smooth Thanksgiving gravy"?
That "declaration" came at the end of a statement responding to an accusation of sexual assault against a minor. Somebody slap Reuters with a wet leather glove full of thumbtacks, please. Now, please.

And finally, fuck you, Katie. Do better. The whole time you wrote this piece you had to force yourself to apply true but harsh words to Kevin Spacey because #nostalgia and #talent and #funny. Do you care more about his talent or his talons? Decide. Why are you so unwilling to know what you know now?
Here's the truth from my own lips: He reminds me of someone who scared me the same way Spacey did Rapp. I found a way to care about that person, despite his scary, shitty behavior. I found a way to tell myself it wasn't that bad.
It is too easy to forget that punishments are just, and it's the pardons that are fucked up.
Don't offer a pardon again. It's time to pay for what's been done.
Nobody is immune. Nobody gets a pass. Tell the fox in your hen house to shut the fuck up, girl.
I will not be the Bride of Frankenstein; If I skipped this one, I'd be saying that I'm cool standing beside this monster as long as I don't hold his hand, and as long as everyone all agrees to pretend we can't see the bolts in his neck.
Which is why I'm writing this right now.


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2 comments:

  1. fuuuuuuck I relate to this. I met Spacey once. smoked a bowl with him at a Hollywood party a thousand years ago. I've told dozens of people how nice he was, how cool and funny and warm.

    and now I just feel sick.

    a year ago, I found out a personal friend was a rapist. so I cut him out, because that's what you do when your friend is a rapist. we have to cut these rapists out.

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  2. Kevin Spacey was at his very best as an actor when playing a sociopathic monster well-concealed behind a meek or charming or otherwise harmless-seeming facade. So in a weird way, I wasn't all that surprised when it turned out that that's the reality of his life. He's not Verbal Kint; there never was a Verbal Kint. He's Keyser Soze. And now that we know who he really is, it's time for him to vanish from public life and never be seen on screen or stage again, as no other punishment for his crimes seems possible.

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