In an interview with Andrew Denton on his Channel 7 show Interview last night, Guy Pearce described Kevin Spacey as a “handsy guy” during the filming of 1997’s LA Confidential.
Laughing, Pearce went on to add “thankfully, I was 29 and not 14”, referring to actor Anthony Rapp’s accusations against Spacey.
His anecdote came just as outlets around the world were reporting that three new accusations against Spacey were being investigated by Scotland Yard.
— Andrew Denton's "Interview" (@InterviewAU) July 3, 2018
Guy described Spacey as an “incredible actor”, but followed that up with the fact that he had a “slightly difficult time” with him.
His demeanour during this part of the interview is significantly more serious than in the rest of the interview, and it’s clear that it’s something Guy has wrestled with for a while.
Since last year, when Rapp spoke about being harassed at age 14 by Spacey in 1986, 15 more men have publicly accused Spacey of sexual misconduct.
Guy is now the most famous person to have accused Spacey of misconduct, and it’s hard not to wonder who else in Hollywood has had awful experiences with Spacey but hasn’t spoken out because of how famous and influential he is.
I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out 1/3
— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) October 30, 2017
Andrew went on to ask him about working with Kylie Minogue, and Guy described her as “divine”, adding that she’s “not as handsy as I’d like her to be!”
While people are entitled to respond to their experiences however they see fit, this comment does seem to reflect the attitude that society has towards male victims of assault – that they simply need to laugh it off and take it in stride.
I’m reminded of Terry Crews’ US Senate testimony last week, in which he said “The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand, is that he held the power”.
Crews also talked about the expectation that victims will write their assaults off as a joke, explaining that “one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation”.
Terry Crews gives an emotional speech, describing how he says he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood agent in 2016.
The agent denies "each and every allegation contained in [Crews'] complaint." pic.twitter.com/tww4z6bs4a
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) July 1, 2018
It’s evident that Spacey took great pleasure in humiliating and exerting his power over younger men, and it’s tragic that like Harvey Weinstein and everyone else who’s been accused in the wake of #MeToo, abusers in Hollywood were able to harass with impunity for so long.