Sunday night actor Anthony Rapp came forward with his story alleging that Kevin Spacey made an aggressive sexual advance toward him when he was fourteen. Later that night, Kevin Spacey responded with a statement over Twitter in which he apologized, showed a deep misunderstanding of sexual assault, and came out as gay for the first time. After his tweet, responses like the one below from Zackary Quinto began pouring in. By conflating his apology for committing sexual assault with officially coming out, Spacey perpetuated a dangerous, false stereotype that links pedophilia and gay men.
Rapp coming forward breaks down the barriers that many men face dealing with sexual assault and harassment. While women are much more likely to be victims of this type of crime, it is important to remember the stigma that society puts on men who experience sexual assault. After all, the same societal pressures that tell men that if they are sexually assaulted they cannot be “real men,” tell women that they are to blame for their own harassment.
We must end these dangerous and harmful narratives. That’s why this week, we’re asking you to spread the word about our Facebook LIVE screening of The Mask You Live In on November 7. Together we must dismantle these harmful gender stereotypes and ensure that sexual harassment and assault have no place in our society.
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Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team