Sir Ian McKellen apologises for ‘clumsily’ suggesting that Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey had ‘sexually assaulted’ boys because they were ‘in the closet’ at the time
- Ian McKellen suggested being ‘in closet’ could have a role in abuse allegations
- Actor was taking part in podcast recording at National Student Pride in London
- He was commenting on allegations against Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey
- Also appeared to joke: ‘I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something’
Ian McKellen, pictured, made the comments about Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer being ‘in the closet’ during a recording in London
Actor Ian McKellen has apologised for remarks that seemed to suggested that if closeted people were open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others.
The actor made the comments during a live recording of the #QueerAF podcast at the National Student Pride event in London.
While speaking to Evan Davis the Lord of the Rings actor made the comments about Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey, who he has worked with in the past.
McKellen said: ‘Both of them were in the closet, hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people,’ suggesting that allegations of abuse may not have arisen.
McKellen continued: ‘If they’d been able to be open with themselves and their desires they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they have been accused.’
He also addressed issues about whether Singer and Spacey, who he worked with while Spacey was artistic director of The Old Vic theatre, should work again.
McKellen said: ‘I think that’s rather up to the public. 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.
McKellen was speaking about two people he has worked with in the past Kevin Spacey, left, and Bryan Singer, right, who have both been accused of sexually assaulting other men
‘But there may be others for whom that’s not a consideration.’
Also during his interview at the Pride event, McKellen seemed to joke about whether he was also going to be accused.
He said: ‘Well quite frankly I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something, and me wondering if they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten.’
McKellen worked with American director Singer on the X-Men movies. Singer has been accused by several underage boys of raping them. He denies the allegations.
Kevin Spacey has also been accused by more than a dozen men of sexual harassment or assault. He also denies the allegations against him.
Actor Anthony Rapp first claimed Spacey made a sexual advance towards him when Rapp was 14, in an interview in 2017.
Sit McKellen was speaking with Evan Davis a the National Student Pride event in London
McKellen posted a statement online this morning about the comments made in the recording
Six of the cases are currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police and are alleged to have taken place between 1996 and 2014.
This morning McKellen clarified his comments made in the podcast recording saying he deeply regrets his ‘careless remarks’.
He tweeted: ‘As part of an extended podcast recently, I suggested that if closeted people were instead open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others. That, of course, is wrong.
‘My intention was to encourage the LGBT audience I was addressing, to be proud and open about their sexuality. In doing so, my point was clumsily expressed. I would never, ever trivialise or condone abuse of any kind.
‘I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused.
‘When it comes to abuse by people in positions of power, the correct response is clear. The accusers must be heard and the accused given the opportunity to clear their names.
‘If the accusations prove credible, the abuser’s access to power should be removed.’