Morrissey defends Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein
Amidst the slew of allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against a plethora of men in Hollywood, Kevin Spacey made the news earlier this month as he was accused of sexually harassing actor Anthony Rapp, when he was only 14 years old. The incident, which happened in 1986, supposedly came as some surprise to Spacey, who went on to issue a confounding response.
His official statement read that he was deeply sorry for what happened, though he doesn't remember it, but found that in light of this allegation it was definitely the right time to reveal to the world that: "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man". Soon afterwards, several other men came forward with similar allegations as to his misconduct.
Now Morrissey, ex-frontman of The Smiths, has come forward to defend Spacey, as well as Harvey Weinstein - who has been accused of horrendous acts of sexual assault and harassment by over 50 women by this point. Speaking of the actor's recent troubles, Morrissey said he had been "attacked unnecessarily" and that it was ridiculous that he has been removed from an upcoming film.
Speaking to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, he said he believed what counts as sexual harassment has become too broad. "Anyone who ever said 'I like you' to someone else is suddenly being charged with sexual harassment," he told the paper.
Not letting that (frankly, ridiculous) statement stand on its own, he clarified that he believes that "rape is disgusting [and] every physical attack is repugnant". Relating to the claims Rapp made against the actor, in which Spacey allegedly laid on top of him at a party and tried to seduce the minor, Morrissey stated that it "did not sound very credible to me":
"I don't know about you, but I was never in situations like this in my youth. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody's bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to."
You would think that even this warped point, which also ignores the other allegations and Spacey's own comments on the issue, wouldn't stand for a child that wouldn't necessarily know what to make of the situation. But he continues, linking the comments to the numerous allegations aimed at movie producer Harvey Weinstein:
"People know exactly what's going on and they play along"
"Afterwards, they feel embarrassed or disliked. And then they turn it around and say: 'I was attacked, I was surprised'.
"But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it."
"I hate rape... But in many cases, one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed."
This is a peculiar new take on the many allegations being made at the moment, to which women and men are risking both their careers and public judgement to make; but it does play into the unfortunately common narrative that these claims are made out of selfish urges, rather than an attempt to bring change to an industry that continues to allow this behaviour to prosper.
Morrissey then turns to the music industry, claiming that while he never did so - many musicians have slept with underage groupies at some point in their careers
"Throughout the history of music and rock 'n' roll there have been musicians who slept with their groupies," he said. "If you go through history, almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why not throw everyone in jail right away?"
When he was asked for further comments on the issue, Morrissey declined.