Saturday, May 25, 2024

Will Hollywood Welcome Kevin Spacey Back Following ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict?

Must read

A U.K. jury has found two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey not guilty of nine charges related to sexual assault and indecent assault, and now that he’s been legally cleared, the question turns to whether Hollywood will be willing to hire the controversial actor going forward.

Spacey is, after all, one of the industry’s biggest talents, having won a supporting Oscar for his performance in The Usual Suspects before winning Best Actor for American Beauty. In addition to those two films, he was a fixture of many great ’90s movies, delivering memorable turns in Glengarry Glen Ross, Swimming With Sharks, The Ref, Se7en, Outbreak, A Time to Kill, L.A. Confidential, and The Negotiator.

After speaking to multiple sources for this story, the consensus on a comeback is iffy at best, with various individuals pointing to directors such as Woody Allen, Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, and Joss Whedon as examples of embattled artists who were never even charged with a crime and still aren’t welcome in most Hollywood circles due to abuse allegations.

“Hell no,” one major studio executive texted back after being asked whether they’d ever consider casting Spacey. That seemed to be the widespread sentiment among the industry folks who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I think he’ll continue to work overseas outside of the studio system, but I can’t imagine he’s going to be in a Marvel movie anytime soon,” said one longtime talent manager.

Spacey’s trial involved four complaints against the actor, including one from a man who alleged that Spacey repeatedly grabbed his crotch while he served as creative director of London’s Old Vic theater in the early 2000s. Spacey admitted to a “consensual” relationship with the man that involved some touching but insisted that he respected the man’s boundaries.

A second man accused Spacey of pinning him against a wall and grabbing his crotch at a charity event in 2005, though Spacey denied ever meeting the individual, while a third alleged that after meeting Spacey at a pub, he and a group went back to the actor’s rented house in Gloucestershire, where Spacey allegedly kissed his neck, grabbed his penis, and said, “Be cool, be cool.” Spacey described the encounter as a “clumsy pass” he made while drunk and later tried to apologize for, though he denied it was a sexual assault.

Meanwhile, the most serious complaint — causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity — carried a potential life sentence had Spacey been convicted. This one involved a fourth man who alleged that he woke up at Spacey’s London apartment and found the actor performing sex on him, believing he may have been rendered unconscious somehow by the actor. Spacey described the encounter as consensual and provided telephone records that contradicted the alleged victim’s account.

After deliberating for 12 hours over the course of two and a half days, a U.K. jury dismissed each of the counts, prompting Spacey to break down in tears. The verdict arrived on his 64th birthday and Spacey reportedly thanked five jurors who expressed a desire to  meet the actor in person at the conclusion of the trial.

Said Spacey following the decision: “I imagine that many of you can understand that there’s a lot for me to process after what has just happened today. But I would like to say that I am enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully before they reached the decision. And I am humbled by the outcome today.”

Spacey had previously beat a $40 million civil lawsuit brought against him by actor Anthony Rapp — who accused Spacey of committing sexual battery in 1986, though a New York jury dismissed the claim.

Spacey’s U.K. trial lasted four and a half weeks in total, and through it all, Spacey was supported by his manager, Evan Lowenstein, whose next job will be to secure work for the actor.

While Spacey hasn’t appeared in a studio movie since Edgar Wright’s Sony movie Baby Driver in 2017, when the #MeToo movement ignited on social media, he has done some small indie productions and international films, playing a detective alongside Faye Dunaway in Franco Nero’s The Man Who Drew God, starring opposite Rebecca DeMornay in the thriller Peter Five Eight, and voicing a carjacker in the action movie Control.

For now, it seems as though Spacey has been exiled to a very specific corner of the indie marketplace, and it’ll take a major societal shift before he’s given a second chance in Hollywood proper, where stories about the actor’s behavior have run rampant for years. If you had millions of dollars on the line, would you risk your investment by casting Spacey, who may be a great actor, but still comes with a tremendous amount of baggage regardless of today’s verdict? There’s your answer right there.

In the end, the court of public opinion will always reign supreme, though as Spacey’s House of Cards character, Frank Underwood might say, “Democracy is so overrated.”

More articles

Latest article