The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has responded to Kevin Spacey coming out as gay on Sunday, after actor Anthony Rapp alleged that the Oscar-winning actor made sexual advances on him when he was 14 years old and Spacey was 26.
"Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statment on Monday. "This is not a coming out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
In a Buzzfeed News report published on Sunday, the now 46-year-old Rapp alleged that he met Spacey at a post-show event when both performers were starring in separate Broadway shows. The actor claims that he went to a party at Spacey's apartment a few days later and that, as the party ended, Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.
Rapp alleged that Spacey appeared to be drunk and that "he was trying to seduce me."
Hours after the report, 58-year-old Spacey tweeted that he was "beyond horrified" at Rapp's story, and came out as gay.
"I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story," Spacey wrote. "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years."
"I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy," he continued. "As those closest to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic relationships with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man."
Some celebrities have criticized Spacey's response, including Zachary Quinto, who came out as gay in 2011.
"It is deeply sad and troubling that this is how Kevin Spacey has chose to come out," Quinto tweeted. "Not by standing up as a point of pride -- in the light of all his many awards and accomplishments -- thus inspiring tens of thousands of struggling LGBTQ kids around the world. But as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from a very serious accusation that he attempted to molest one. I am sorry to hear of Anthony Rapp‘s experience and subsequent suffering. And I am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he thought it would serve him -- just as his denial served him for so many years. May Anthony Rapp‘s voice be the one which is amplified here. Victim’s voices are the ones that deserve to be heard."