Kevin Spacey Says Forgiveness Isn’t Found in Hollywood

Beset with 10 new sexual misconduct allegations stemming from U.K. Channel 4’s recent documentary, Kevin Spacey said in an interview this week that he does not believe Hollywood offers forgiveness, but does believe there is hope that the fear spread by cancel culture will fade and “common sense will get back to the table.”

The two-time Oscar winner’s interview on The Lex Fridman Podcast, released on Wednesday, comes one month after the documentary Spacey Unmasked premiered in the U.K. on May 6-7 (followed by a release on Max one week later). The actor posted a 20-minute response, titled “Kevin Spacey: Right of Reply,” which streamed on X (formerly Twitter).

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Spacey admitted in the interview with Fridman that for years, he was no angel in his private life; speaking of the accusations both seen in Channel 4’s doc and those that preceded it, he indicated that, in the interest of regaining a Hollywood career, if he doesn’t “fight back, this will never end.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Spacey discusses acting, working alongside some of the greatest talents of his lifetime, mortality and the accusations that have sent him to court in the U.S. and U.K. only to lead to acquittals of all crimes of which he’s been accused — most recently in the U.K. in July, when he was found not guilty on nine counts — and dropped lawsuits. He also hasn’t worked in Hollywood since 2017. But now, Spacey has a trio of independent films slated for release and some Hollywood players even rallying behind him, including Sharon Stone and Liam Neeson — begging the question about if he can be forgiven and relaunch his career.

“I live in an industry in which there is a tremendous amount of conversation about redemption, from a lot of people who are very serious people in very serious positions who believe in it,” Spacey told Fridman. “That guy who finally got out of prison who was wrongly accused … We see so many people saying, ‘Let’s find a path for that person. Let’s help that person rejoin society.’

“But there is an odd situation if you are in the entertainment industry, you are not offered that kind of a path,” he concludes. ”And I hope that the fear that people are experiencing will eventually subside and common sense will get back to the table.”

The House of Cards actor, whose long relationship with Netflix disappeared in 2017 amid misconduct allegations at the dawn of the #MeToo movement, suggests that the fear of cancel culture and guilt by association is a hallmark of this particular moment in history, where a wave of attention on harassment, gender inequalities and movements made toward progress for women (and accountability from men) have become often associated with so-called cancel culture.

“I don’t think it’s about the industry. I think it’s about our time,” Spacey said on the podcast. “I think it’s the time we are in. And people are very afraid. They are literally afraid that they’re going to get canceled if they stand up for someone who has been. We’ve seen this many times in history, this is not the first time it’s happened.”

Spacey also touches on the allegations against him in the interview. The 10 men featured in the recent doc accused him of making unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate sexual touching and in one instance while watching a film with an accuser, allegedly masturbating during the violent storming of Normandy scene that opens Saving Private Ryan. Having admitted in “Right to Respond” that he is guilty of some promiscuous, flirty, annoying at times and persistent behavior, the actor says here that there is no blanket statement or apology and refutes false claims.

“There are a number of things that I’ve been accused of that simply did not happen, and I can’t say, and I don’t think it would be right for me to say, ‘Well, everything I’ve been accused of is true,'” Spacey explains. “Because we’ve now proven that it isn’t, and it wasn’t. But I am perfectly willing to accept that I had behaviors that were wrong, that I shouldn’t have done and that I am regretful for.”

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