Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: Kevin Spacey's Bizarre Christmas Video

Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood doing his best impression of Kevin Spacey. If that sounds unsettling, well, it is.

Kevin Spacey

Art cannot be separated from the artist.

There's almost certainly some truth to the 30 individual sexual assault and harassment allegations levied against famed Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey in 2018. Despite the fact that the legal criminal assault charges against Spacey have all been dropped, far too many people have separately corroborated similar accounts of abuse for the charges to be a series of misunderstandings.

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CULTURE

Kevin Spacey's New Holiday Video May Have Led to One Suicide Already

One of Spacey's Accusers killed himself the day after the video was released.

On Christmas Eve, disgraced (alleged) sexual predator and former actor Kevin Spacey released a new Holiday video on his Youtube channel.

In the video, titled "KTWK" (kill them with kindness), Spacey puts on the southern lilt of House of Cards' anti-hero Frank Underwood in a supposed plea for "more good in this world." The next day, one of his accusers—Ari Behn, 47—was found dead by suicide. If Spacey had known that one of the men whom he had (allegedly) assaulted was on the brink of taking his own life, would he have thought twice about releasing that video? Would he have felt any qualms about, once again, adopting the persona of the villainous President Underwood for a sequel to last year's notorious Christmas video?


KTWK www.youtube.com


In September, the anonymous massage therapist who alleged that Spacey had forced him to grab the actor's genitals died of cancer, and resulting in charges being dropped. Spacey and his legal team had vehemently denied the accusations, and now he was off the hook. What does it say then that Spacey opens his newest video, after stabbing wildly at the fire, with the claim, "It's been a pretty good year?"

In the case of Ari Behn—the author and former member of Norway's royal family who alleged that Spacey had groped him under the table at a Nobel Prize concert in 2007—it would be irresponsible to suggest that there was anything suspicious in his Christmas Day suicide. He had spoken openly about his struggles with loneliness and alcoholism—and his fear that he wouldn't live to see his three daughters grow up—but it seems like foolish optimism to imagine that he hadn't seen Spacey's newest video. And if his isolation and alcoholism were at all tied to the trauma of his encounter with Spacey, how painful would it be to see the man responsible putting on the act of a remorseless villain? How upsetting and surreal to hear the man who (allegedly) hurt you and so many others—yet continues to walk free—imploring his viewer with an ironic smile not to openly attack their enemies, but instead to "kill them with kindness."

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The video closes on that ominous line, with a stock iMovie musical sting called "Suspense Accent 07," leaving no doubt as to the intended effect. But what, other than cruelty, could be the motivation?

The character of Frank Underwood on House of Cards—before Spacey was ousted, and Robin Wright took over as the show's lead—was a man who used his cunning, his power, and his connections to avoid facing consequences for numerous crimes. More than once he killed off someone who had become a liability, and he made their deaths look like suicide. Why would a man who maintains his innocence—in the face of more than 30 accusations of sexual assault and misconduct—continue to align himself with this character whose arc is defined by evading justice? At worst, Spacey is flaunting his untouchable status. At best…what? If we assume that even one of his accusers is telling the truth, then releasing a video in which he pretends to be an impervious villain—and alludes to killing his enemies—is a heartless and horrifying act.

In February of this year Spacey's older brother, Randy Fowler, publicly called on the actor to accept responsibility for his (alleged) crimes and "take his punishment." He also expressed concern that Spacey would not be able to handle his (alleged) predation being exposed, saying, "I'm worried about him committing suicide. But then you have to think, 'Nah he's too narcissistic, he probably wouldn't do that.'" If Fowler is right about Spacey's state of mind, then a true narcissist might follow the logic of the patron saint of narcissism—Ayn Rand—who famously said before her death, "I will not die, it's the world that will end." From that perspective, even 30 suicides would pale in comparison to the tragedy of erasing the narcissist himself. From that perspective, the more Spacey can do to taunt his (alleged) victims—to make them feel helpless and hopeless—without directly implicating himself, the better.


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There are probably more charitable interpretations, but if Spacey leaves this video up after the tragic suicide of Ari Behn, he doesn't deserve even that small charity. He should, of course, own up to any and all of his crimes—if he is guilty, plead guilty and face the consequences of his actions. But if he is too in denial, or too much of a coward to do that, the least he can do is stop rubbing his freedom in the faces of his (alleged) victims and their families—in the faces of every survivor of sexual assault who would rather not be reminded that sexual predators so rarely face justice.

If he is going to keep espousing his innocence in the courtroom, the least he could do is stop playing a villain in these bizarre holiday videos. And if he won't delete this video, then he isn't playing a villain at all. People's lives are on the line.

Culture News

Publicity Finally Forced Kevin Spacey into Court for Sexual Assault

The actor has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 30 individuals who allege similar incidents occurring over decades. Why is the actor only now facing legal charges of felony sexual assault?

Variety

A small resort island, a guilty plea, and a private jet comprised Kevin Stacey's Monday morning.

The 59-year-old actor appeared in Massachusetts district court to be arraigned for a felony sexual assault against an 18-year-old boy. The alleged incident took place in 2016 in a Nantucket bar, after Spacey is said to have plied the boy with alcohol in order to assault him.

YouTube

The nameless accuser is the son of Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, who's pushed for the actor to be prosecuted since she revealed the details of the incident in a 2016 press conference. Unruh told reporters, "Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him." Further statements detail that the boy told the actor, then 57 years old, that he was 21, but once under the influence he was pressured by Spacey to attend a "private after-party." According to Unruh, an unidentified woman at the bar asked if the boy was uncomfortable, and when he said "yes" she urged him to run.

"Nothing could've prepared my son for how that sexual assault would make him feel as a man," his mother said. "It harmed him and it cannot be undone."

In a quick and wordless court appearance for arraignment, the actor pled not guilty. While Spacey's lawyers deny all criminal accusations, prosecutors say there's video evidence from Snapchat corroborating the alleged assault, which includes Spacey forcibly fondling the boy under his clothes. Spacey was given March 4 as his next court date, with the judge allowing him to forego appearing in person as long as he stay available by phone. The judge also ordered that Spacey have no contact with Unruh, her son, or their family members. After the hearing, the actor was escorted past reporters and to the airport, where a private jet was waiting.

In total, Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 30 individuals who allege similar incidents occurring over decades. Why is the actor only now facing legal charges of felony sexual assault?

Yes, the #Me Too era has been heightening awareness and helped pin down serial abusers in Hollywood. But between burden of proof and legal statutes of limitations, incidents dating as far back as 1981 have gone unreported to the police, or–much worse, and sadly common–reports have been filed and then dismissed. The rate of accusations against Spacey gained momentum in 2017 after actor Anthony Rapp told Buzzfeed that Spacey made inappropriate sexual advances towards Rapp when he was only 14 years old. Most alleged victims are young men and boys working on set or in theaters who never reported the incident because, as one accuser told People, "It was my word against his and who is going to believe me?"

Healther Unruh and her attorney. Fortune

Unfortunately, by the time many of the men gave voice to the alleged assaults, the statute of limitations in those designated states had passed. Unruh's son, on the other hand, filed charges against Spacey in November 2017, merely a year after the alleged incident. With a mother vastly experienced with the press as a former anchor, publicity pushed Unruh's incident passed police red tape and legal hindrances to reach the Massachusetts district attorney office.

After being ousted as the former lead of Netflix's House of Cards and removed from scheduled film projects, at least Hollywood agrees that Spacey is a liability. Whether or not he is a criminal sex offender will be decided by a judge this spring.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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Culture News

Frank Underwood Possessed Kevin Spacey on Christmas Eve

In a disturbing video posted by the actor, even Spacey seems to find his sociopathic character preferable to himself.

Vulture

On Christmas Eve, Kevin Spacey finally broke his silence on the slew of sexual assault allegations made against him.

Bizarrely, the disgraced actor opted to do so by releasing a video of himself embodying one of his most profane, egomaniacal characters: House of Cards' Frank Underwood. More affronting is the fact that Spacey shared the post on Twitter mere hours after the Massachusetts district attorney confirmed Spacey will face felony charges of sexual assault against a teenaged boy he allegedly molested in a Nantucket bar in 2016.

As brazen as it is disturbing, the post titled "Let Me Be Frank" suggests either a terrible publicity stunt or the actor has finally succumbed to the voices in his head. With 6.5 million views as of Wednesday, the video features Spacey puttering around his kitchen wearing a Santa-themed apron—while glowering at the camera and giving a menacing House of Cards-style harangue. "I know what you want," he says in the character's southern growl. "You want me back."

Let Me Be Frank www.youtube.com

Aside from showcasing Spacey's loose grip on reality, the video serves no purpose but to loosely imply that the allegations against the actor are misleading. Spacey's accusers include actor Anthony Rapp (Rent, Star Trek: Discovery), director Tony Montana, and dozens of former coworkers who've shared similar accounts of harassment from the 59-year-old. In response to the allegations, Netflix and Media Rights Capital cut Spacey from all productions.

That leads to the defamed actor's disturbing message on Christmas Eve, with Spacey-as-Underwood defending Spacey-the-actor: "Of course some believed everything and are just waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all. They're just dying for me to declare that everything said was true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn't that be easy? If it was all so simple? You and I both know it's never that simple, not in politics and not in life."

Aside from the fact that even Spacey seems to find his sociopathic character preferable to himself, the actor's monologue hinges on the suggestions that A) sexual assault is not so bad and B) sexual assault is especially not so bad if the offender also has murdered people. Spacey-as-Underwood states in the video, "All this presumption made for such an unsatisfying ending, and to think it could have been such a memorable sendoff.... I can promise you this. If I didn't pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn't do."

He ends with a Moriarity-worthy sign off: "Conclusions can be deceiving. Miss me?"

Fellow Hollywood figures took to Twitter to condemn and ridicule the actor's post. Actress and producer Ellen Barkin (Animal Kingdom, Oceans Thirteen) posted, "Kevin Spacey is sending a very disturbing message as he chastises his audience...if you hypocrites loved me as a murderer, why won't you love me as a sex offender? Maybe because Frank Underwood's crimes are fiction and Kevin Spacey's are not. #LostInSpacey"

Comedian W. Kamau Bell criticized Spacey's poor PR sense. He tweeted, "That Kevin Spacey video is further proof that no matter how rich and famous you get you need at least 3 people in your life who have no problem saying to you…Bruh, what the hell?"

It seems that on Christmas Eve Kevin Spacey morphed into his final form: the lovechild of American Beauty's middle-aged pedophile and House of Cards' fourth-wall-breaking sociopath. Now Spacey-the-actor (and none of the alter egos that live in his head) is due in Nantucket District Court on January 7 to be arraigned for indecent assault and battery.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.



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FILM & TV

‘Billionaire Boys Club’ Barely Makes a Dime

Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Kevin Spacey's Film Opens to a Measly $126

Yes, you read that right.

$126 bucks for the opening night of Billionaire Boys Club, the film that followed the old adage, "The show must go on," and decided to hit theaters despite Kevin Spacey's allegedly seedy sexual conduct. The flick opened in a handful of theaters over the weekend, with an evident near-empty audience who probably paid more for their popcorn than the plot. Proves that even celebrity goes south when #metoo is all-mighty.

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Billionaire Boys Club also stars Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton, who must be miffed that their 'coulda been' blockbuster was blocked by bad behavior. $126 was tallied up on Friday with a boost (if you can call it that) the following day, inching up to $162. As Fox News figured out, "Factoring in the average ticket price in the United States, an estimate of only six people showed up in each cinema over the weekend to see the film." Six people who are either ride or die Spacey fanatics or don't much care about actor Anthony Rapp's revelation that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances towards him when he was just a teen. Not to mention the rest of the accusers with similar stories about Spacey.

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While the forces at Billionaire chose to keep Spacey in the 'club,' Netflix's House of Cards dropped him like a hot potato and actor Christopher Plummer popped right in to take Spacey's place when the team behind All the Money in the World knew that Spacey would not earn them anything close to it.

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www.indiewire.com

Did the boys (and girls) with Billionaire Boys Club think enough time had passed for people to brush off the allegations and give Spacey a second chance? Could Elgort and Egerton's good looks and tangible talent outweigh the outrage? Or was reshooting or dumping the whole project just not a feasible solution?

Well, unlike House of Cards, Billionaire Boys Club didn't play their cards right. A few hundred bucks couldn't even cover the cost of soda and sandwiches from craft services. Broke Boys Club is more like it. That said, it wasn't like Vertical Entertainment (the studio backing the project) sent Spacey the script after the allegations were aired. They released a statement, "We hope these distressing allegations pertaining to one person's behavior — that were not publicly known when the film was made almost two-and-a-half years ago and from someone who has a small, supporting role in Billionaire Boys Club— does not tarnish the release of the film. In the end, we hope audiences make up their own minds as to the reprehensible allegations of one person's past, but not at the expense of the entire cast and crew present on this film."

Well, their "hope" came true. Audiences made up their own minds and concluded they'd rather see Crazy Rich Asians.

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Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.


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Frontpage Popular News

Sony swaps out Kevin Spacey following allegations of sexual assault.

It's a wrap! Spacey gets swapped, following allegations of sexual assault against him

Roling Stone

"All the Money in the World" couldn't save Spacey's career

Sony Pictures has announced that they will be replacing Kevin Spacey with veteran actor Christopher Plummer in the film All The Money In The World. This comes as a bold move on the part of Sony because all of the scenes containing Spacey have already been shot.

The film slated for a Christmas time release is about industrialist J. Paul Getty. Though Spacey only worked on the film a little under 2 weeks, it has been stated that he has one of the more integral roles. The decision was made by the film's director Ridley Scott with producers, cast and crew, and Sony Pictures themselves all backing Scott's play.

Spacey as J. Paul Getty in "All The Money In The World" (IndieWire)

This decision comes on the heels of the various allegations of sexual assault brought against Spacey in the last month. The Golden Globe-winning actor has been accused of making sexual advances towards actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was just 14 years old. Other's who have worked with Spacey, mainly cast and crew, have also accused Spacey of making inappropriate sexual comments towards the men working on set, and even going as far as touching them in the same manner.

Being removed from All Of The Money In The World is just more backlash Spacey has experienced since the allegations broke. Netflix has decided to shut down production on the final season of House Of Cards, which Spacey is not just the lead star, but a producer as well. Spacey has also been cut from the upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration of The Carol Burnett Show.

The 58-year-old actor has not been officially charged, but multiple allegations surfacing has prompted an investigation by the Nantucket police after Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh accused Spacey of sexually assaulting her son in July of 2016.

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