London’s Old Vic, the theater of which Kevin Spacey was artistic director from 2004-2015, has said it is “deeply dismayed” to hear the allegations of sexual misconduct that recently surfaced against the actor. A statement released today by the venerable venue points to an earlier statement that was made jointly by UK theater bosses that “there can be no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our industry.”
Over this past weekend, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations that Spacey made sexual advances toward him while the two were working on Broadway in 1986, when Rapp was 14-years-old. Spacey soon apologized for the incident and came out as gay, but his remarks have been blasted by GLAAD and other groups.
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Spacey had a storied run at the Old Vic, staging and appearing in star-studded productions. Matthew Warchus took over as artistic director when he stepped down.
The Old Vic has asked for anyone connected with it who has complaints they have felt they “were unable to raise” to contact them. Here’s the full statement:
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, who was Artistic Director from 2004–2015.
Inappropriate behaviour 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, as set out in our joint statement with the theatre industry on 23 October. We want our employees to feel confident, valued and proud to be part of The Old Vic family. Any behaviour we become aware of which contravenes these goals will not be tolerated.
If you have been connected with The Old Vic or in our employment and feel you have a complaint that you were unable to raise, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Any experience shared will be treated in the utmost confidence and with sensitivity. We have appointed external advisors to help us deal with any information received.
And below is the joint statement of the theatre industry (made before the allegation against Spacey) whose signatories include the Old Vic, The National and the Royal Shakespeare Company:
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.
We salute the bravery of everyone who calls out this abusive behaviour. We support a theatre culture that empowers people to speak up: a culture where abuse of power is always challenged.
We are committed to working together to ensure that theatre is a safe space for all, where everyone is respected and listened to. The Royal Court Theatre’s Day of Action on Saturday 28 October is one important part of this process. Together, we are developing further ways to support people to speak up and to hold others to account.
It is the responsibility of the industry to create and nurture a culture where unacceptable behaviour is swiftly challenged and addressed.
We want to be absolutely clear and say again: there is no room for sexual harassment or abuse of power in the theatre. Everyone deserves to enjoy a happy, healthy and safe working environment. We will support you to speak out, and we will hear you when you do.
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