For nearly 20 years, one of my most prized possessions was the autographed Kevin Spacey poster of “The Iceman Cometh” which adorned my office wall. It was one of the first things my students would see as they entered my office. Several would inquire about the poster which would lead to me striking up a conversation about my favorite actor Kevin Spacey.
For those who know me know that Kevin Spacey has been an integral part of my life since I was introduced to his Oscar-winning performance in “The Usual Suspects” in December 1996. Throughout the past 21 years, I blossomed into one of Kevin Spacey’s most devoted fans. I traveled to New York to watch him perform on Broadway. I organized Kevin Spacey movie outings and “House of Cards” viewing parties for my friends and co-workers. I loyally posted about him to social media. Heck, I even lobbied local radio stations to help me invite Kevin Spacey to my high school so he could talk to the theater and film students.
My friends good-naturedly teased me about my “obsession” with Kevin Spacey. I gushed about his extraordinary talent and upcoming projects to those who’d listen. I lectured my high school’s film students about his successful career. My face flushed bright red at the thought of possibly someday meeting him.
So imagine my shock when I awoke last week to the news that Kevin Spacey had been accused of sexual misconduct from an incident stemming from 30 years ago. Not MY Kevin Spacey. Not THE Kevin Spacey. This couldn’t be right. Kevin Spacey’s initial response was that he didn’t recall this incident. His excuse was that he must have been in a drunken stupor when it occurred. He “sincerely” apologized to his accuser. I was hoping this would be an isolated incident. I was hoping that this was just a horrible mistake. Not MY Kevin Spacey.
I was wrong.
As we all know, numerous others have bravely stepped forward accusing Kevin Spacey of more egregious acts of sexual misconduct throughout the last week and a half. Most of the accusers were young men, or even more disturbingly adolescents. It was becoming quite clear that Kevin Spacey did not make one isolated mistake. Rather, Kevin Spacey was and is a sexual predator who preyed on victims who had less power and influence than he did in Hollywood. This assured their silence.
I’m disgusted. I’m dismayed. I’m sad. I’m angry. My heart truly goes out to all of Kevin Spacey’s victims who suffered in silence for years, for decades even, too afraid to come forward to tell their story for fear of retaliation against one of the most decorated and powerful men in Hollywood.
But now they are no longer silent. Now they realize that they are not alone. Now they are telling their stories. Now they are using their voices to expose a man and culture where these types of acts have been all too common and ignored. Now they are carrying no shame, as the shame lies within Kevin Spacey. Now they are standing up against a sexual predator and bully who attempted to use his power to commit despicable acts of sexual misconduct. Now they are my heroes for their bravery.
I removed my prized Kevin Spacey poster from my office wall a few days ago. I am leaving the wall space blank to symbolize all the silent victims of sexual misconduct, assault, and abuse. I hope my students will notice the emptiness of my wall and question why I took down my poster. Instead of my previous musings of Kevin Spacey, I hope our new conversations will emphasize the importance of not suffering in silence. Sexual misconduct of any kind is NEVER okay, not even when committed by your once beloved hero.
Special thank you to today’s guest blogger, Betsy Alpert.
As a native Cincinnatian, I will always have a very special place in my heart for my hometown. I live with my husband Andy (another native Cincinnatian), our daughters Natalie and Brooke, and our dog Sampras in Smyrna, GA (right outside of Atlanta). Even though I now work as a high school counselor in the Atlanta-area, I still consider Cincinnati my home and always will. We visit our family and friends often and are raising our daughters to be Reds & Bengals fans and to appreciate everything Cincinnati has to offer – King’s Island, Smale Park, the Cincinnati Zoo, Union Terminal, Skyline Chili, and Graeter’s Ice Cream.