In the aftermath of the staggering Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, a number of victims of other alleged sexual predators have bravely come out to tell their story. Amongst those accused was Kevin Spacey who, in response, said he couldn’t recall the incident in question and revealed he was gay.
Now fellow gay actor, Sir Ian McKellen, has revealed he thinks Spacey was disrespectful for hiding his sexuality and suggested that lying about it got him "into problems".
Appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme, the Lord of the Rings actor addressed the ongoing allegations of sexual misconduct against the House of Cards actor.
He explained that he does believe Spacey could seek redemption but added that Spacey probably wouldn’t have acted the way he did if he’d confronted his sexuality years ago.
"You’re asking me if I believe in redemption. Yes, of course, I believe in redemption. I don’t like to comment on that case because there have been many accusations but they haven’t been gone into or understood.
"The one thing I would say about Mr Spacey is that he was a gay man and he was pretending not to be.
"I always thought it a bit distasteful that a person could come to our country, where the National Theatre at the time being run by a gay man and the Royal Shakespeare by another and I think the Donmar in London by another gay man that we should have a closeted gay man at the centre of British theatre."
Responding to Spacey coming out at the same time as addressing sexual misconduct allegations, the 78-year-old said: "Well, you get into problems, don’t you, if you lie and pretend."
The actor, who is set to play King Lear in the Duke Of York theatre later this year, also spoke about his work in schools in partnership with Stonewall and what he sees happening in termsof LGBTQ+ equality in younger age groups.
He said: "I find that nobody is born prejudiced. you learn prejudice and you can unlearn it. I think the future, as it was expressed to me by some sixth form girls the other day, they don’t want to be labelled lesbian, they don’t want to be labelled bisexual, they don’t want to be labelled by anything.
"I am what I am in the words of the popular song. Fluidity is the future and people will not be banned by the finger pointing at them giving them a label.
"They don’t want a label and I think that’s terribly hopeful. The world will change beautifully. People will be more relaxed and accepting, that’s what I pick up from schools."