Ian McKellen Offers Lengthy Apology Following Spacey And Singer Comments
The actor came under fire after blaming alleged abuse on men having to live in the closet.
During a live episode of the podcast #QueerAF, the actor made several off-hand comments about the allegations faced by Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer.
"Frankly I'm waiting for someone to accuse me of something," he joked before adding, "with the couple of names you mentioned, of people I’ve worked with, most of them were in the closet -- hence all their problems as people, and their relationship with other people."
After BuzzFeed published an interview with actor Anthony Rapp who accused Spacey of making sexual advances toward him when he was 14-years-old, Spacey's initial response was to come out of the closet.
"If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’re being accused."
McKellen starred in Singer's X-Men franchise as Magneto, as well as working with him on the film Apt Pupil where Singer is accused of forcing minors to perform a nude scene. He also worked alongside Spacey when he was the director of the Old Vic theatre where the theatre set-up a hotline to assist an investigation into his time there. They received 20 allegations of "inappropriate behaviour".
McKellen went on to also wonder if men like Singer and Spacey should be forced out of public life after facing accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse.
"That’s debatable, isn’t it?" he said, "I think that’s rather up to the public: do you want to see someone who’s been accused of something that you don’t approve of? Do you ever want to see them again?"
"If the answer is no, you won’t buy a ticket; you won’t turn on the television. But there may be others for whom that’s not a consideration, and it’s difficult to be absolutely black and white."
After his comments came to light, McKellen faced public criticism for his comments -- forcing the Lord of the Rings star to issue an apology.
Posting a signed statement to social media as well as a small thread of tweets, McKellen walked back his initial claim that living in the closet had led Singer and Spacey to abusive behaviour.
In the thread, McKellen also said his comments were to "encourage the LGBT audience to be proud and open about their sexuality."
"When it comes to abuse by people in positions of power, the correct response is clear. The accusers must be heard and the accused given the opportunity to clear their names. If the accusations prove credible, the abuser’s access to power should be removed."
While Spacey has mostly removed himself from the limelight -- save for a particularly odd video that was impeccably poorly received -- Singer continues to push back on any allegations aimed at him. The director was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody despite still receiving a directing credit on the film.
Singer has also been tipped to direct a Red Sojna feature -- after an explosive investigation detailing many of the claims against him was published -- though the film has now reportedly been put on hold.
Featured image: Getty Images.