The sexual harassment scandal of high-profile Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein didn’t just reveal the persistent problem in the entertainment industry but also gave strength to victims of sexual abuse to name and shame other sexual predators.
"House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey is one of Hollywood’s A-listers whose name also came up in connection with sexual harassment after "Star Trek” actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making aggressive sexual advances on him.
Rapp added that the incident took place in 1986, when he was just 14 years old and Spacey was 26.
Following the shocking disclosure, Netflix pulled the plug on “House of Cards” and announced the next season of the thriller series would be the last, before also putting production on hold indefinitely.
Now, in a CNN report, eight current and former staff members of “House of Cards” have accused Spacey of sexual harassment on set. All of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described his behavior on the sets of the show as “predatory.”
They said that Spacey, who is also one of the show's executive producers, made the work environment “toxic.” One of the employees also accused the actor of sexually assaulting him.
The employees added that the Spacey would usually target male employees who were young. He would touch them inappropriately and make crude comments.
A former production assistant reported that Spacey sexually assaulted him when he was bringing him to a set 30 miles outside of Baltimore. He added that when they were just a few minutes away from the destination, Spacey put his hands down the assistant’s pants.
He didn’t mention what happened next as he feared he would be identified easily if he mentioned that.
“I was in a state of shock. He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there,” he said.
After the initial sexual abuse, the two made their way to Spacey’s trailer. Once they arrived there, the actor once again made an inappropriate sexual contact with the assistant. However, this time he told the actor that he didn’t approve of such behavior.
“I told him, 'I don't think I'm OK with this, I don't think I'm comfortable with this,’” said the assistant producer.
Although the assistant didn’t inform the show’s manager about the behavior, he did tell his co-worker. As a result the supervisor of the show made sure the assistant producer was never alone with Spacey.
"I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position. It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors," he added.
Another crew member also reported that Spacey touched him inappropriately several times.
“He would put his hands on me in weird ways. He would come in and massage my shoulders from behind or put his hands around me or touch my stomach sometimes in weird ways that in normal everyday conversation would not be appropriate,” said the crew member.
He also said that although he wanted to talk about the harassment openly, he was afraid of Spacey and was not able to stop the actor.
A former camera assistant also reported Spacey’s sexual harassment.
“All the crew members commented on his behavior. What gets me is we have to sign sexual harassment paperwork before the start of the show and apparently [Kevin Spacey] doesn't have to do anything and he gets away scot-free with this behavior,” he said.
He also said that he stayed silent because he feared losing his job. He added no one would have believed him at that point because Spacey was so powerful.
A former female assistant said that she witnessed Spacey’s inappropriate behavior several times. She said he would shake hands with other crew members and then pull their hand down to force them to touch him inappropriately.
“It was very known that Kevin was inappropriate, and males I worked with complained to me about how they felt uncomfortable. Kevin does this thing which was play fights with them in order to touch them,” she said.
Ever since the initial allegations against Spacey surfaced, he has issued an offensive non-apology by coming out as gay. However, no matter how genuine some people think his apology might be, he can’t use his sexual orientation to shift blame from himself. His announcement does not, and should not, justify his purported actions. There is no excuse for alleged pedophilia or making unwanted sexual advances toward a teenager — and his sexual orientation should not have anything to do with it.
Soon after Rapp’s allegations, Spacey’s publicist, Staci Wolf, said he was seeking unspecified treatment. However, Wolf later announced she and Spacey’s agency had dropped the actor.
Banner: Reuters, Mario Anzuoni