Robin Wright says she thinks Kevin Spacey should have a second chance
Last year, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, people were shocked to discover that Kevin Spacey had been the subject of numerous sexual assault allegations.
Along with several other prominent Hollywood stars, the House of Cards actor came under fire for alleged historical incidents of abuse and harassment - most notably from Anthony Rapp, who claimed that Spacey made inappropriate advances towards him when he was 14 years old.
At first, Spacey attempted to brush off the allegations, and diverted critics' attention by releasing a statement that focused more on his sexuality than his crime. "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago," he wrote, before rounding off his defence by saying: "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I now choose to live as a gay man."
In the following weeks and months, however, more and more accusations snowballed against Spacey, resulting in the actor being dropped from House of Cards and shunned by many of his former colleagues and admirers.
Now, however, one of his Netflix co-stars, Robin Wright, has come forward to say that she thinks the abuser is owed a second chance.
In a recent interview, 52-year-old Wright was asked whether or not she thought Spacey was deserving of a comeback.
"I don’t know how to comment on that, I really don’t," she began. "I believe every human being has the ability to reform … In that sense, second chances, or whatever you are going to call it – absolutely, I believe in that. It’s called growth."
She then went on to say that she felt pity for her former co-star, and, indeed, anyone else who has been in a similar position.
"I feel sorry for anybody whose life is in the public arena. It’s a nightmare, can you imagine? We do a job, we share [a performance] with viewers. Why does our private life have to be public? I hate that part of this industry. It’s so invasive.
"I believe everyone’s personal life should be personal. Positive, negative, neutral, whatever – I don’t believe it should be anybody’s business. But I’m not talking about [the #MeToo] movement – I’m talking about media. The exposure. It’s an awful feeling. A stranger deciding they know who you are … I mean, it’s criminal, it really is."
This comes despite Wright previously claiming that she "didn't know the man".
"We were co-workers really, we didn’t socialize outside of work," she said in July. "We had a respectful, professional relationship. He was so great with me. He was never disrespectful to me. That’s my personal experience. That’s the only thing that I feel I have the right to talk about."
Essentially, then, Wright has contradicted herself in these two statements. Originally, she made a statement suggesting that she was only going to judge Spacey based on what she knew about him; however, in the more recent interview, she has said that people shouldn't know a person's private life through the media (which prompts the obvious question: how would we ever know anything about people we are taught to idolise if not for interviews and insights from people close to them?).
In the case of the #MeToo movement, of course, it is only because of the media, and the engagement of so many others through social media, that we have come to learn the truth about Spacey and so many others like him - and it's a truth that has long been swept under the rug.
Wright may believe that Spacey deserves a second chance, and it certainly sounds as if she feels that he and others in their shared profession have been done a disservice by the media - but is that the case, really? Would we be better off knowing nothing about the people we see on TV and in films every day? Would it be beneficial for us to live in ignorance to their private activities, even if those activities are actually highly illegal and dangerous to others?
Spacey has been ostracised from the film industry because of his inappropriate behaviour, but only in the same way that any other person would lose their job if it transpired they had been sexually abusive towards others. In fact, the lack of any criminal charges shows that - if anything - Spacey has been treated relatively well, in spite of his past actions.
To give Spacey a second chance would be to say that people like him can get away with what they've done, and that's totally against everything the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have worked towards over the past year.