On Sunday evening, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp accused two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey of making sexual advances toward him when Rapp was 14 years old.
Spacey didn’t deny Rapp’s accusation, but he claimed he had no memory of the incident, and apologized for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
With that, his response to Rapp’s accusation of sexual misconduct pivoted toward something else entirely: Spacey used the opportunity to publicly come out, announcing that he “[chooses] now to live as a gay man.”
But whereas other queer celebrities are widely praised when they choose to publicly delineate their sexuality, Spacey’s coming out announcement drew the ire of many in the LGBTQ communities for its blatantly opportunistic timing, a seeming attempt to deflect from the seriousness of Rapp’s accusation.
Some of the most scathing critiques of Spacey’s timing come from his fellow LGBTQ actors. Here’s a running list of how his queer comrades are responding to Rapp’s accusation against him, and what they’re saying about how— and why — the House of Cards actor chose to come out only now.
LGBTQ activist and Star Trek actor George Takei lambasted Spacey for what he described as an abuse of power.
“When power is used in a nonconsensual situation, it is a wrong,” Takei said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way.
“Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
In a statement on Twitter, Star Trek Into Darkness star Zachary Quinto chastised Spacey for the “deeply sad and troubling” way he chose to come out.
“It is deeply sad and troubling that this is how Kevin Spacey has chosen to come out,” Quinto said. “Not by standing up as a point of pride... but as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempted to molest [a struggling LGBTQ kid].”
Quinto added, “I am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he thought it would serve him, just as his denial served him for so many years.”
On Monday, Riding the Bus With My Sister actor Rosie O’Donnell called Spacey a “creep” and compared him to disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
Snatched actor Wanda Sykes tore into Spacey’s announcement on Twitter, arguing that his attempt to deflect from the accusation was the equivalent of “hiding behind a rainbow.”
In a series of tweets, Difficult People star Billy Eichner rebuked Spacey for his “disgusting, irresponsible and dangerous” statement.
“Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out,” Eichner said.
In a series of tweets, Take My Wife star Cameron Esposito decried the way Spacey chose to come out.
“I have not chosen to live my life as a gay woman,” Esposito said. “I am a gay woman, living my life.”
Esposito ended by affirming the tireless work queer activists have undertaken for decades.
“Shouting out queer elders who spent lifetimes fighting for space/identity that has nothing to do with abuse. You’re not forgotten,” she tweeted.
Mic will continue to update this list as more LGBTQ actors speak out.
October 31, 2017 1:33 p.m.: This story has been updated.