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Thoughts on Kevin Spacey’s Frank Message

 

Kevin Spacey decided to inflict a bizarre YouTube video on the internet this Christmas Eve.

If you’re willing to sacrifice three minutes of your life you too can witness what appears to be a disgraced actor’s public mental breakdown. It borders on the sociopathic.

For those who need a quick reminder of what went down prior to this, Spacey disappeared a year ago after actor Anthony Rapp made sexual abuse allegations against him. This was at the height of the #MeToo movement.

To make matters worse, Rapp was fourteen when the alleged abuse occurred, i.e. he was essentially a child.

Spacey’s last tweet before his year long silence did not help the situation much.

Not only did he claim not to remember the event, but he also decided that this would be an appropriate time to come out as gay.  This attempt to distract from the issue at hand was infuriating, not least because it fed into harmful stereotypes about gay people abusing children.

A year on, and Spacey comes out with this gem of a video, taking on the role of loveable psychopath Frank Underwood, no doubt hoping to evoke the kind of sympathy the audience had for the on screen villain.

The whole scene verges on the insane;  Underwoo Spacey oscillates between reality and fiction in a contrived attempt to connect with fans of the masterpiece that is House of Cards.

He says:

“Oh sure they tried to separate us, but what we have is too strong, it’s too powerful. I mean after all, we shared everything you and I.”

What terrifies is that it is difficult to discern where reality ends and fiction begins.

And Kevin Spacey is an exceptional actor.

But is it his acting prowess that contributes to this particular performance?

At one point Spacey says:

“All this presumption made for such an unsatisfying ending”

Fans that weren’t satisfied with the Robin Wright led series finale agreed.

I admit, I myself briefly fell captive to the scripted lullaby.

“You wouldn’t rush to judgements without facts? Would you? Did you?”

But that’s just it. It’s not about rushing to judgements without facts. Statistically, it is unlikely that Rapp made false allegations.

When investigations are carried out, only 2-10% of sexual abuse allegations turn out to be fake.

It is also unlikely that a sexual assault allegation would ever reach trial. In the US, for every 1000 rape cases, only 230 are reported to police. Of those, only nine will be referred to prosecutors, and only five will lead to a felony conviction.

One reason for this low number is the enormous burden of proof placed on the victim and prosecution.

Yet, on the same day that Spacey posted his video, it emerged that he will be facing felony charges for alleged sexual assault.

This time, Spacey was accused of sexual abuse by the eighteen year old son of Boston news anchor Heather Unruh at a bar in 2016.

Yes, no one can say with absolute certainty that Spacey is guilty. The facts that we do have indicate that it is very likely that he is however.

That’s what makes this next thing he says that much creepier:

“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”

What is he talking about? Is he referring to the sexual abuse allegations that he was not charged with? Something else entirely? Who is he talking to here?

He ends on this note, presumably taking on the role of Frank Underwood:

“Now that I think of it, you never actually saw me die, did you? Conclusions can be so deceiving. Miss me?”

It is easy for fans of the show to conflate Spacey and Underwood in this brief clip. We all rooted for Frank Underwood in our own ways, and here he is again after he was taken from us so suddenly!

But the difference is, Underwood was a very well crafted fictional character.

Spacey allegedly inflicted real pain on real people. This cannot be forgiven because of his talent.

We cannot simply forget about the people that came forward because House of Cards just isn’t the same without Frank. That is ridiculously selfish.

And fans would do well to remember that.

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1 Comment

Sabrina L. George

Well said!

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