BY MARISSA CASTANOS
Netflix announced last Wednesday that “House of Cards,” a favorite show for thousands of watchers, will not continue into further seasons. This decision was made after Kevin Spacey, who plays President Underwood in the series, was accused of sexual assault.
The allegations against Spacey began when Anthony Rapp, a well-known actor, said in an interview with Buzzfeed News that when he was only 14 years old, Spacey made a sexual advance after inviting Rapp to an adult party. Rapp says that toward the end of the night, he found himself sitting on Spacey’s bed, and when Spacey entered the room, he “picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” and that’s when the 26-year-old allegedly made a sexual advance on 14-year-old Rapp.
Spacey has since released a statement in which he explains that he couldn’t recall the night in question, but that if he did behave as Rapp says he did, he owes him his “sincerest apology” for what could have just been drunken behavior. Further compounding the allegations against him, Spacey also chose to “come out” during his apology statement – congratulations, Spacey, welcome to 2017. People everywhere have been trying to put the pieces together as to why Spacey would choose now to live his life as a gay man, but the answer seems clear – he wants media to focus on his sexual orientation rather than his assault allegations.
One thing we must not do is see his alleged attraction to minors as being intrinsic to his homosexuality. Many already have the stereotype that older homosexual men are innately attracted to younger males, and when we accept such stereotypes, we are perpetuating rape culture.
What needs to happen now is that he is held responsible for his actions, along with all the other powerful men accused of sexual assault, such as Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump. We must not dismiss Spacey of his actions now that he is “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” according to Spacey’s publicist.
People in powerful positions will find a way to make us turn a blind eye to their accusations, and it is up to us to stand up for those who were taken advantage of when they were in a position of vulnerability, afraid of letting their horrific experience put their dreams and careers in the entertainment industry at risk. When we hear about these allegations and do nothing for the victims, we are encouraging men with power to continue their lifestyles of abusing that power. It’s time for a change, and that begins with you, it begins with me, it begins with doing what is right.