On Saturday, Ian McKellen apologized for comments he recently made in which he attempted to explain the alleged actions of Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey, both of whom are accused of multiple cases of sexual misconduct. The acclaimed English actor took to Twitter to try and make amends.
“As part of an extended podcast recently, I suggested that if closeted people were instead open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others. That, of course, is wrong,” McKellen wrote. “My intention was to encourage the LGBT audience I was addressing, to be proud and open about their sexuality. In doing so, my point was clumsily expressed. I would never, ever trivialise or condone abuse of any kind.”
McKellen’s original comments came during a recording of the #QueerAF podcast, in which he tried to explain the incidents by claiming they occurred in part because neither Singer nor Spacey were out at the time.
“Most of them were in the closet. Hence, all their problems as people and their relationship with other people,” McKellen said. “If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused.”
McKellen then added that there may be audience members who are cool with watching films, television shows, and stage productions featuring performers who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
“I think that’s rather up to the public,” he said. “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.”
McKellen also joked about his him being a possible #MeToo target one day.
“Frankly, I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something,” McKellen said, garnering laughs. “And me wondering if they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten.”
McKellen has worked with Singer many times, most notably as Magneto in the original run of X-Men films, but also in his 1998 film Apt Pupil, on the set of which Singer allegedly abused one of his multiple accusers. McKellen has never shared the screen with Spacey, but they worked together when the former was the artistic director of London’s Old Vic.
Back in December, McKellen stirred up controversy by warning of “wrongful” accusations in the #MeToo era and wondering if some allegations have included trading sexual favors for roles. Presumably he wasn’t referring to the many actresses, such as Annabella Sciorra and Mira Sorvino, who have claimed their careers were harmed after harassment by the likes of Harvey Weinstein.
(Via USA Today)