The shocking accusations on Sunday night about Kevin Spacey forcing himself onto actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14 years old is a continuation of the moral rot being exposed in Hollywood every day. However, what's new with the Spacey story is how some of the media is handling Spacey's response to the original allegations.
In the original report by BuzzFeed News, Spacey allegedly attempted to rape Rapp after he befriended and invited him over to his apartment for a party in 1986. When everyone had left by the end of the night, Rapp said, he picked up the 14-year-old actor, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him.
While Spacey did not return BuzzFeed's request for comment, he took to Twitter to issue a statement early Monday morning saying he didn't remember anything about the encounter with Rapp, but tried to justify his behavior on being intoxicated.
"[I]f I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior," Spacey wrote on Twitter before attempting to spin the situation about his sexual preferences.
"This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy," he continued to say that he's had relationships with both men and women. "I now choose to live as a gay man."
While there were many people who weren't buying Spacey's apology or justification from his behavior, several mainstream news outlets printed stories about Spacey leading with him coming out as gay.
Reuters published the headline, "Actor Kevin Spacey declares he lives life as a gay man."
Both outlets have since repaired their headlines, but still, it further proves President Trump was right about the media being untrustworthy. They may not all explicitly be the "enemy of the American people," but they're not doing themselves any favors in attempting to get readers, viewers, and listeners to trust them again.
Harvey Weinstein may have been an easy target when dozens of his accusers came forward because he had mainly been behind the scenes in Hollywood, but Spacey is a lot tougher to stomach. He's given performances that have earned him top honors at the Oscars for his roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty." You've seen his face for almost 30 years, and some of his work remains exceptional.
But, we, in the mainstream media, cannot fail this moral test when it comes to Spacey because of all that he's given to society through art and cinema. What about all the harm he caused Anthony Rapp when he allegedly tried to rape him when he was 14? What about the other men and women, many of whom we don't know if they were even victims of Spacey?
Spacey, like many in Hollywood, has been given the benefit of the doubt for the last 30 years. It's not only up to men and women in their own private lives to not perpetuate a culture that victimizes young men and women to those with power, it's up to the media, too. We can and must do better.