The actor Ian McKellen has apologised unreservedly for “clumsily expressed” comments that could have been taken as an excuse for sexual misconduct.
Speaking on the #QueerAF podcast, McKellen was asked by Evan Davis about his feelings in the face of the allegations against his former colleagues, Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer – both of whom deny all incidents of wrongdoing.
Couple - Names - People - Closet - McKellen
“With the couple of names you mentioned, of people I’ve worked with, most of them were in the closet,” replied McKellen, “hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people.
“If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’re being accused.”
McKellen - Star - LGBT - Performers - Preferences
McKellen, a high-profile openly gay star, has long called upon fellow LGBT performers to declare their preferences regardless of the impact they fear it could have on their career.
But McKellen offered a retraction of his comments over the weekend, saying the notion that closeted people wouldn’t abuse others if they were open was “wrong”.
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“I would never, ever trivialise or condone abuse of any kind. I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused.”
McKellen worked with Singer on the latter’s breakthrough film, 1998’s Apt Pupil, and on the X-Men franchise. Singer directed Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody until he left the project around the time a new round of allegations about him emerged. An exposé published by the Atlantic in January, which detailed new allegations against him, was dismissed by Singer as a “homophobic smear piece”.
McKellen - Old - Vic - Spacey - Latter
McKellen worked at the Old Vic with Spacey when the latter was artistic director of the London theatre. Spacey currently faces criminal charges in Nantucket, where he has pleaded not guilty.
In 2017, Spacey issued an apology to Anthony Rapp, who claimed Spacey made a sexual advance towards him...
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