“The Old Vic would like to respond to recent media reports by making it clear that we are deeply dismayed to hear the allegations levied against Kevin Spacey,” the theater said in an official statement. “Inappropriate behavior by anyone working at The Old Vic is completely unacceptable. We aim to foster a safe and supportive environment without prejudice, harassment or bullying of any sort, at any level….Any behavior we become aware of which contravenes these goals will not be tolerated.”
The statement came after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making an unwelcome sexual advance toward him when he was just 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey apologized but said he does not recall the alleged encounter.
The Old Vic has said that no complaints were made against Spacey during his 11-year tenure at the theater or in the time since his departure. But the theater’s statement Tuesday gave out an email address for current or previous employees to make a confidential complaint. “We have appointed external advisors to help us deal with any information received,” it said.
Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of London’s storied Royal Court theater, told BBC radio Monday that stories of sexual misconduct were rife in Britain’s theater community and that Spacey was “one of the people that people have had concerns about.” One of Featherstone’s predecessors at the Royal Court, Max Stafford-Clark, was forced to step down because of a complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior.
In the past few days, 19 prominent theater directors in Britain signed a public statement saying sexual misconduct in the theater industry could not be tolerated. “Following the reports and allegations of the last two weeks, first in America and, more recently, closer to home, we have come together to make clear that there can be no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our industry,” the statement said.