Ian McKellen is making some controversial comments about the sexual assault allegations his former colleagues Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer both face.
“Both of them were in the closet,” he said on a recent live recording of the #QueerAF podcast during National Student Pride 2019. “Hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people. If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’re being accused.”
Starring as the villain Magneto, McKellen worked with director Singer on several films in the “X-Men” franchise and starred in his 1998 movie “Apt Pupil.” He interacted with Spacey while the accused actor served as the artistic director at the Old Vic Theatre in London, a venue that uncovered 20 accounts of alleged inappropriate behavior during Spacey’s tenure from 2003-2015.
While speaking about the #MeToo movement, McKellen said the issue of accused actors returning to the public eye is “difficult to be absolutely black and white.”
“Whether they should be forced to stop working, that’s debatable. I think that’s rather up to the public,” he said. “Do you want to see someone who’s been accused of something that you don’t approve of? Do you ever want to see them again? If the answer is no, you won’t buy a ticket, you won’t turn on the television. But there may be others for whom that’s not a consideration.”
Earlier this year, four men accused Singer of engaging in sexual misconduct with them when they were underage boys. He was replaced as director of “Bohemian Rhapsody” during filming (though he kept the director credit), and the Queen biopic went on to win four Oscars. In January, Spacey was arraigned on a charge of sexually assaulting a busboy in 2016.