Yesterday, it was confirmed that Kevin Spacey would return to acting, set to star in a new Italian film, titled The Man Who Drew God with filmmaker Franco Nero at the helm and the filmmaker's wife, Vanessa Redgrave, set to co-star in the film. This was immediately met with backlash given Spacey's sexual allegations that sent the actor into seclusion back in 2017 (and saw him dropped from the final season of the hit Netflix series House of Cards). While Spacey remained relatively quiet since then, he did release a video yearly where he reprised his House of Cards role, Congressman Frank Underwood, and passively condemned his treatment as a villain. Whether this was Spacey lashing out by playing the villain everyone believes him to be or simply a twisted joke, so far none of Spacey's allegations have been proven. Back in 2018, noted director/writer Paul Schrader (First Reformed) posted on social media a surprising defense for Spacey in his position as an artist:
“I believe there are crimes in life but no crimes in art. Spacey should be punished for any crimes his actual person created. But not for art. All art is a crime. Punishing him as an artist only diminishes art. Put Celine in jail, put Pound in jail, punish Wilde and Bruce if you must, but do not censor their art.”
Now, following Spacey's casting and backlash to that casting, Schrader has once again come out to defend Spacey, posting on Facebook, “About time. If he’s guilty of a crime, incarcerate him. If not, let him act. Many great artists have been bad people.”
Spacey is an odd case as, unlike others accused like Harvey Weinstein, nothing has ever been proven beyond hearsay. It leads to a hard moral question about how much it takes to find someone guilty. In a court of law, Spacey is innocent, but in public perception, he has already been condemned. Who is right? Well, we're not a site dealing in social justice so we'll leave that up to you. Stay tuned!