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People Are Accusing Kevin Spacey Of Announcing He Is Gay To Deflect From Sexual Misconduct Allegations

"Coming out as a gay man is not the same thing as coming out as someone who preyed on a 14-year-old. Conflating those things is disgusting."

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On Sunday night, BuzzFeed News published an account by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp in which he said Kevin Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old.

Rapp said he had decided to speak out about his experience following the unprecedented conversation about sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry that followed the Harvey Weinstein accusations.

Rapp told BuzzFeed News that in 1986, Spacey befriended him while they were both performing in Broadway shows, invited him over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.

“He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp said. “I don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.”

After the story broke, Spacey tweeted a statement where he said he had chosen "now to live as a gay man."

Spacey said he did not remember the encounter Rapp described.

Many people were quick to take issue with Spacey's statement and his decision to announce his sexuality in response to the sexual misconduct allegations.

Unfortunate that he chose this as a coming out moment instead of focusing on allegation that he, as a man, did some… https://t.co/np7L6TUtXg

No, Kevin Spacey. You don't get to use your sexuality as a distraction from sexual assault. You just threw the gay community under the bus.

Kevin Spacey has set gay rights back fifty years by a) conflating homosexuality with paedophilia and b) Saying that being gay is a "choice."

Oh wow. Kevin Spacey deflecting from attempting to molest a child by coming out as gay is the absolute pits.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis had this to say:

"Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. "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.”

Daily Beast writer Ira Madison III also took issue with Spacey in a piece where he accused the actor of "grossly conflating pedophilia and homosexuality."

I wrote about Kevin Spacey https://t.co/QroDnmlUy3

"In the ensuing days, many headlines will likely lead with the fact that Spacey has come out as a gay man. This is a calculated move from Spacey and a PR team that has handled rumors surrounding his sexuality for years," Madison wrote.

"Spacey choosing now to come out, in order to spin Rapp’s sexual assault allegation, is underhanded behavior worthy of his character Frank Underwood on House of Cards."

Others also criticized Spacey for using his statement to change the media narrative around the story.

THAT IS NOT THE STORY YOU HACKS https://t.co/r8kRohjHSB

Right, 1 more time for headline writers: #KevinSpacey story is not about coming out, but that he’s been accused of trying to assault a child

Let’s be clear... Kevin Spacey’s attempt to deflect and spin this sorry by “coming out” is manipulative and it compounds issues.

Anthony Rapp: "Kevin Spacey tried to rape me." Media: "Kevin how do you respond?" Spacey: "uuh...uuhh... Hey ever… https://t.co/m5w8uQbWJr

Kevin Spacey coming out as gay to distract people from the claims he molested a 14 year old. Sounds like a House… https://t.co/TnONPrgm03

Kevin Spacey coming out is a distraction from the fact that he SEXUALLY ABUSED A CHILD. Don't fall for it. He's trying to divert attention.

While others took Spacey to task for saying if the events did happen he must have been drunk.

Nope to Kevin Spacey's statement. Nope. There's no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.

hello kevin spacey, "i was drunk and gay" is an excuse for like, table-dancing to britney spears, not attempted paedophilia

Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alicia Melville-Smith at alicia.melville-smith@buzzfeed.com.

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