The backlash against Kevin Spacey has been swift and brutal. After he was accused of sexual harassment by Anthony Rapp in an incident that occurred in 1986, when Rapp was 14, a string of other accusers came forward, accusing the actor of groping and other inappropriate behavior towards young men. Spacey brushed off the accusations by officially coming out as gay, but this cynical tactic did not distract from the real and disturbing allegations against him. In response to the claims, Netflix canceled its popular series House of Cards, which starred Spacey, and now director Ridley Scott has revealed he will be cutting Spacey from his upcoming film All The Money In The World by reshooting and editing the movie.
According to Vanity Fair, the movie was set to be released in December and feature Spacey in a supporting role as the eccentric billionaire J. Paul Getty. Spacey's character will now be played by Christopher Plummer, in an unprecedented move by the director, who still intends to release All The Money In The World on December 22. Also featuring Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, who have agreed to the reshoots with Plummer, the movie is based on the true story of J. Paul Getty's grandson being kidnapped and held for ransom, but while Getty's role as a character looms large, his screen time is relatively small. Spacey only worked about eight to ten days on the film, in between shooting House of Cards. The marketing and promotional materials will also need to be redone.
Deadline reported that the decision to replace Spacey and reshoot all of his scenes was “unanimous” among the film’s cast and crew, and represents the gravity with which Hollywood is treating these allegations. However, reports that Spacey's behavior was an "open secret" raise questions about how he could have been such a well-respected Hollywood figure in the many years leading up to Rapp breaking the silence that protected Spacey. Like women, gay men have often been targeted by abusers, and up until now these crimes have not been treated with the seriousness they deserve. Hopefully, the downfall of Kevin Spacey will contribute to a new culture of accountability when it comes to the actions of powerful men.
Header image via Netflix.
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Molly McLaughlin is a travel and culture writer currently based in Mexico City. Her work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet, Refinery29 and Ms. Magazine. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @mollysgmcl.