Kevin Spacey cast in British indie film ‘Control’ despite ongoing sexual misconduct allegations – Screen Shot
Deep Dives Level Up Newsletters Saved Articles Challenges

Kevin Spacey cast in British indie film ‘Control’ despite ongoing sexual misconduct allegations

It appears Kevin Spacey has been welcomed back into the film industry with open arms. The seemingly untouchable American actor is set to begin shooting his next movie venture—an indie British thriller titled Control—despite still facing a slew of sexual misconduct charges.

Some industry insiders have deemed the actor vindicated after a jury in New York found him innocent of molestation. According to The Independent, actor and broadway singer Anthony Rapp had sought  $40 million in damages after alleging he had been preyed upon by 63-year-old Spacey during a party at his Manhattan apartment in 1986 when he was only 14-years-old. After three weeks of deliberation, the jury found Spacey not liable of sexual battery.

While some may consider this incident resolved, it’s marked only the beginning of what will be a long and strenuous battle for justice. In 2017, after Rapp publicly accused Spacey of sexual misconduct, the floodgates opened. Over the course of five years, 15 men shared similar encounters with the decorated actor—all alleging that Spacey was indeed a prolific sexual predator. And a number of criminal trials are yet to come.

While the actor was dropped from his run on TV show House of Cards after the allegations hit the news, it seems his sabbatical from the limelight was short lived.

Hollywood has a long-standing history of protecting those who operate within its inner circles. It could be argued that the establishment’s overnight restoration of Johnny Depp’s reputation after he won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard was a clear indication that her side of the story was not a priority. Many people seem to forget that just because the Pirates of the Caribbean star ‘won’ the libel case, does not mean he is not guilty of abusing his ex-wife.

Of course, we know now—after unsealed documents were released onto the internet—that Depp is far less angelic than he would like to appear. Similarly, one has to only glance at Jared Leto’s muddy past to see the absurdity in his rising Hollywood status.

What are the current charges Kevin Spacey is facing in the UK?

Despite having won his previous case against Rapp, Spacey still faces a number of other criminal charges across the pond. Most prominently is an upcoming trial set to take place in the summer of 2023. According to Vanity Fair, the official trial proceedings will begin on 6 June. Spacey has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault against three men and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

Before the 2023 trial commences, the American Beauty actor has had to appear in court in London in the summer of 2022 to hear the charges put against him and to enter his plea. In December 2022, he will have to once again make the visit after a fourth man emerged as a complainant and Spacey was charged with a further seven counts of additional sexual offences, as reported by The Guardian. In the majority of these cases, the allegations span from the early 90s to the early 2000s.

What is Kevin Spacey’s new film about?

Spacey’s new film Control is being driven forward by creative Gene Fallaize, and the director and screenwriter is not holding back on how he feels about the actor. Speaking to Variety, Fallaize stated: “He’s one of the greatest actors of our generation. His personal life aside—it’s something I can’t comment on and have no knowledge of—it’s an opportunity to work with one of the acting greats.”

In other words, it’s clear Spacey’s current criminal charges are not swaying his celebrity impact. In fact, his name and credentials are plastered across the film’s promotional poster.

Playing the ominous and omniscient antagonist—how ironic—Spacey will star alongside Lauren Metcalfe and Mark Hampton. I suppose the only saving grace is that his role is solely a voice acting part and therefore his actual face will be hidden from our screens.

In an even more disappointing move, Italy’s National Museum of Cinema based in Turin also recently announced that Spacey would be awarded the prestigious Stella Della Mole Award for his contributions to cinema. In a statement relayed by Vanity Fair, Enzo Ghigo, President of the museum, noted: “We are honoured that such a prestigious guest as Kevin Spacey has chosen Turin and an institutional venue such as our museum for this welcome and long-awaited return. It is a privilege to host the master class of one of the greatest cinema and theatre actors of our times.”

What was the internet’s reaction?

Netizens have been debating and deliberating over the Spacey accusations since they first came to light in 2017. And while some have sat perhaps quietly on the fence previously, the actor’s recent trials and reemergence in the Hollywood spotlight has cemented his fate in a number of users’ eyes.

On Reddit, one fired up individual wrote: “Anyone that is connected with this movie that had the balls to give this man work can f*ck right off,” while another commented, “For all those saying ‘he was found to be innocent’ he’s currently on trial in the UK for various assault claims from at least 4 different people… he shouldn’t be working at all.”

A further netizen chimed in: “Well Chris Brown is back in top 40 radio so I guess Spacey’s return is right on schedule,” clearly referencing the controversial singer’s recent American Music Awards (AMAs) win.

Interestingly, a number of users also pointed out the difference between how white actors such as Spacey, Depp and Leto have managed to bypass a number of serious allegations—while Will Smith still faces intense perpetual criticism for the Oscars slapgate.

“This is exactly what people mean when they talk about black celebs not being held to the same standard of others. Logan Paul profited off of suicide and his career still going strong. Mel Gibson, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein I could go on… but we’re worried about a slap,” one Twitter user wrote.

Spacey has vehemently denied any wrongdoing so far in regard to the allegations. It seems we will have to wait for quite some time before witnessing the final outcome of these criminal trials.

The tragic irony of Rihanna inviting Johnny Depp to appear in the Savage X Fenty fashion show

On Thursday 3 November 2022, representatives for Johnny Depp confirmed rumours that claimed the controversial actor will appear in none other than Rihanna’s November fashion show for her Savage X Fenty lingerie brand. Depp—fresh out of the six-week-long defamation trial he ended up winning—would be a featured surprise guest in the fashion show, which will stream on Amazon Prime Video on 9 November.

Understandably, netizens, Rihanna fans and celebrities alike have expressed dismay that the beloved singer would feature Depp in her show given his ex-wife Amber Heard’s allegations that he was violent towards her and the pop star’s personal history with domestic violence.

Because, let’s be clear on one thing, the fact that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor won his defamation case against Heard in June 2022 and was awarded $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages does not mean that Depp is not guilty of abusing his ex-wife.

In fact, following the victorious Instagram statement Depp shared on the social media platform after the verdict was announced, more than 6,000 pages of court documents were unsealed, providing a lot of unpleasant new information about the actor. And guess what? Depp fans were the ones responsible for thrusting this information into the public eye. They crowdfunded the fees required to get hold of the unsealed documents, which contained allegations that lawyers for Depp and Heard had managed to keep out of the trial.

The plan was to dig up dirt on Heard, but their efforts backfired: the documents were packed with nasty details about Depp and shed light on the extent to which his legal team weaponised misogyny throughout the trial.

Sadly, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. This summer, Chris Brown was announced as one of the headliners for the Wireless music festival. Brown’s performance was his first in the UK since he was found guilty of assaulting Rihanna—a charge which reportedly banned him from entering the country. Since then, the R&B singer has sought to reclaim the narrative in his own documentary, ‘explaining’ the abuse. His career, just like Depp’s, is seemingly unscathed.

It’s therefore completely understandable for most of the internet to be surprised by the recent move. In August, Depp made a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) as the channel’s Moon Man mascot. While some fans were pleased to see their icon make his return official, many viewers took to Twitter to criticise the cameo.

Depp’s appearance in the Savage X Fenty show is just the latest instance of the once-disgraced actor being rehabilitated by the entertainment industry. He will appear in the show alongside models Cara Delevingne and Irina Shayk, actors Taraji P Henson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Winston Duke and Marsai Martin, and musical performers Anitta and Burna Boy—making him the first man to take the featured ‘star’ role modelling the brand’s men’s collection.

Among other famous names, Olly Alexander (also known as Years & Years) has said he will no longer be wearing items from Rihanna‘s Savage x Fenty range after the news was first reported. Alexander, who has previously been photographed wearing a harness and underwear for a promotional campaign for the brand, retweeted a post about Depp’s appearance in the show, adding a frowning emoji.

After a fan replied to that tweet saying that the singer wears the range “so well,” Alexander responded by thanking them but added that “after this news I won’t be wearing it anymore.”

As the Twittosphere continues to fight over whether Rihanna is supporting a fellow victim of domestic abuse or platforming someone who was the abuser himself, I’ll leave you with one question to ponder: what if he’s both?