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The Kevin Spacey Sexual Misconduct Allegations Have Sparked A Conversation About "American Beauty"

"People who watched American Beauty will see the irony."

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On Sunday night, BuzzFeed News published a report in which actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on him in 1986, when he was 14.

Theo Wargo / Getty Images, Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Rapp, now 46, said he was emboldened by the numerous women who have come forward after stories were published in the New York Times and the New Yorker about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct. He told BuzzFeed News the following about his experience with Spacey, then 26, more than 30 years ago: "He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don't, like, squirm away initially, because I'm like, 'What's going on?' And then he lays down on top of me."

Soon after the BuzzFeed News story was published, Spacey issued a statement saying: "I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior."

The controversy surrounding the allegations has prompted some people to reassess Spacey's body of work, specifically American Beauty, the 1999 drama for which he won best actor at the 72nd Academy Awards.

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In the film, Spacey plays Lester Burnham, an older man who becomes obsessed with his teenage daughter's friend, Angela Hayes (played by Mena Suvari), to the point he has sexual fantasies about her after seeing her perform a dance routine during a high school basketball halftime show.

Some have noted that the movie "has so many more dimensions now."

the plot of “american beauty” has so many more dimensions now.

While others say the film is "creepier" in light of the recent allegations made by Rapp.

he's been weirding me out since American Beauty... a movie which in hindsight is even creepier. https://t.co/4YRNbngz3A

The discussion surrounding BuzzFeed News' report has caused many to grapple with complicated feelings about the movie.

American Beauty is one of my favourite films, but now watching Kevin Spacey's character prey on an underage girl makes my skin crawl.

The irony of the situation is not lost on this Twitter user:

People who watched 'American Beauty' will see the irony

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And the unsettling nature of Spacey's Lester Burnham has many questioning why moviegoers were supposed to be sympathetic with the character to begin with.

The Kevin Spacey story - I always remember watching American Beauty and thinking 'why am I supposed to like the lead character in this?'

Criticism of the film has increased since the news broke last night.

Me yesterday: American Beauty is my favourite movie!!! Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor!!! Me today:

Some feel the movie can never be watched the same way again.

And, just like that, nobody can ever watch 'American Beauty' the same way again.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to representatives for American Beauty director Sam Mendes and writer Alan Ball for comment.

Michael Blackmon is an entertainment writer with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Michael Blackmon at michael.blackmon@buzzfeed.com.

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