If I were Kevin Spacey, a disgraced but wealthy actor who’s been credibly accused of sexual misconduct or assault by more than a dozen men — two of whom have since died, resolving at least one of his legal woes — I would simply not appear in public. This ought to be especially easy when living in total luxury, without any reason to work. But, because a performer needs a stage, Spacey continues to pop up here and there. First it was a couple of creepy Christmas video messages in character as Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Plus, for no conceivable reason, he was recently a speaker at the Bits & Pretzels startup business conference.
Delivering his remarks remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spacey mused that for many people, reality had been upended by the virus — almost like his plunge from status after stories of his predatory behavior surfaced in 2017. “My world completely changed in the fall of 2017. My job, many of my relationships, my standing in my own industry were all gone in just a matter of hours,” he said. He later added, “And so I do have empathy for what it feels like to suddenly be told that you can’t go back to work, or that you might lose your job, and it’s a situation you have absolutely no control over.”
That’s right: Being shunned by an industry and your former fans over a pattern of sexual abuse is “a situation you have absolutely no control over.” Same as a virus.
Is there anything worse than “empathy” from a celebrity? If it’s not a bunch of famous dweebs weakly crooning John Lennon’s “Imagine” after being sequestered in their mansions for 48 hours, it’s Spacey floating the idea that someone behind on rent because they lost their job can now, at last, identify with his struggle — the plight of the #MeToo’d man.
It’s bad enough when this guy does his holiday cosplay, but with everyone stuck inside on their phones at the moment, the bit is inescapable: We cannot be online without knowing that Kevin Spacey is lurking here, ready to trend without warning. He’s got a captive audience.
Speaking of captive audiences, remember Louis C.K.? The comedian who took some very temporary heat for his habit of abruptly masturbating in front of women, sometimes trapping them in a room while he did so? He wasn’t going to let coronavirus stall his comeback, so a couple weeks into the lockdown, he dropped a stand-up special, Sincerely C.K., to lighten the mood.
“I feel like there are two kinds of people in this world,” he wrote in a press announcement, explaining that he belongs to the kind that “needs to laugh when things get shitty. In fact, the shittier things get, the more serious, the more dark, the more terrifying, the more dangerous and dire anything is, the more important it is to laugh in the midst of it and often directly in its face.”
Wow, Louis — so wise, so true. Maybe the women you traumatized with your dick should have laughed about it instead of worrying that their careers might suffer if they spoke out?
But the past is the past: What’s important is that you continue to ignore it, preferably by rebranding as a gentle humanist who acts like he came up with “laughter is the best medicine” — and charges $7.99 for his dubious cure. I’m glad you think you’re helping. By the way, did you know your remaining fanbase is made up of apologists who think you did nothing wrong, and in fact continue to defend your sleazy behavior to anyone even glancingly critical of you? They rock!
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, Bill O’Reilly. The only slimebucket at Fox News who could’ve given the late Roger Ailes a run for his money, Bill has been in the wilderness for three years — and costing his former employer $32 million to settle a harassment claim is no impediment to his punditry on Joe Biden’s own scandal stemming from former staffer Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault. Talking to fellow propagandist Glenn Beck on May 2nd, O’Reilly said that Biden doesn’t want his records searched because “today is the anniversary of the Bin Laden takedown,” which I’m sure makes sense if you’ve been mainlining colloidal silver for the past few weeks. Then he declared that Biden’s #MeToo moment was “karma.”
What a world it is where a man, after years of silencing his victims in order to remain a powerful giant yelling head on TV, can still impart a notion of moral consequence to millions of followers as he loafs around his Long Island estate, farting into flannel pajamas. We never dreamed that a near-total crash of American society could turn him and these other degenerates into something more repulsive, but here we are!
So much for all that time alone to spend in personal reflection. I’m not quite ready to give up, though: Let’s turn off their Wi-Fi and see if that helps.