Dear Rainbow community, you already know what this week’s Trending Tea is going to be about — because besides the Astros winning the World Series, Zeke Elliott’s suspension being reinstated and Halloween, it has been the only thing we — both the LGBTQ community and the community at large — have been talking about.
Yep, you guessed it.
When the news broke, I told my partner I found it ironic that what Spacey was being accused of was the exact same subject matter of the film that made him a household name, Sam Mendes’ American Beauty.
In case anyone has forgotten, American Beauty was about an aging father who crushes hard on his daughter’s high school best friend, played by Mena Suvari. It opened in theaters in 1999 amid a lot of controversy, but that didn’t stop Kevin Spacey from winning the Oscar for Best Actor.
I loved the movie — just like I loved Kevin Spacey.
Sure, like every other gay person, I was frustrated waiting for him to come out (kinda like Jodie Foster and Queen Latifah). But we all knew he was family. So when he ill-advisedly picked his public apology to actor Anthony Rapp to come out, I — along with every other queer person in America — knew it wasn’t for our benefit. We already knew. It was for the rest of the world.
And his conflation of coming out alongside his too-drunk-to-remember public statement about this alleged sexual assault just made our queer lives that much harder.
Because WE know that those two things don’t go hand-in-hand, but in the social-political climate we are currently living in, not everyone does.
And this is just more fodder to the fire.
Between Trump’s anti-gay rhetoric, to his being the first sitting president to speak at a hate group (he was the keynote speaker at the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council), to his “jokes” about how Mike Pence wants to “hang all gay people,” the political climate has not been kind to us. And Kevin made our cause that much harder.
On Nov. 3, a new Rolling Stone article came out that shared the stories of even more male actors claiming that Spacey made unwanted advances toward them while he was the director of London’s Old Vic theater, from 2004 to 2015. And as more and more people speak out, the deeper in the hole we all go.
Now, Spacey is seeking “treatment.” Let’s all hope it isn’t some “pray the gay away” treatment because if is, dear universe help us all.
One thing we are sure of is that everyone in Spacey’s camp is jumping ship. Netflix announced this would be the last season of House of Cards the very same day news of Rapp’s allegations broke. His agent and publicist left him. And he can pretty much kiss his career goodbye.
And we’ve been talking about all those things.
But here’s what we’re not talking about.
We’re not talking about what any of the men who are coming out and accusing Spacey of sexual assault were wearing. Was it a provocative pair of khaki pants?
Or a come-hither pair of tight jeans?
We’re not writing articles that appear to blame the male victims for the assaults on them, like the essay Blossom-turned-Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik wrote for The New York Times. (She later apologized, but only after feminists called her out on it.)
We’re not having conversations on the radio about what they, the men who were sexually assaulted, should have done, could have done differently. And we’re definitely not blaming them for being alone in the room or questioning their motives for showing up at the Old Vic Theatre alone in the first place.
There’s a campaign going around the internet that begs the question: “What if we believed women?” What if we believed women like we do and have done with the men who are speaking out against Spacey?
If we believed women, then Bill Cosby would have been indicted a long time ago. Casey Affleck’s career would have tanked like Kevin Spacey’s has. And Weinstein would be behind bars the moment the first woman spoke out in the 1970s.
It appears that the myth of the Hollywood casting couch is bursting out of it’s seams.
Because here’s the real tea: We all jumped on board the Kevin Spacey witch hunt, but as one man’s career is being burned at the stake, another — Danny Masterson’s of That 70’s Show — hasn’t even caught fire, despite the fact that there is hard evidence that he RAPED FOUR WOMEN.
The firestarter that’s missing from the Danny Masterson’s equation? Gender equality.