Actor Ian McKellen has apologised after he suggested in an interview that former co-stars Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer allegedly abused people because they were not open about their sexuality.
1/4 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. pic.twitter.com/9k6KLH2hx9
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) March 2, 2019
The actor tweeted on Saturday that he was “wrong” for the comment and that he deeply regretted his “careless remarks.”
Speaking to Evan Davis on the #QueerAF podcast, which recorded last month, McKellen spoke about Spacey and Singer as part of a discussion around the #MeToo movement.
“But with the couple of names you’ve mention, people I’ve worked with, both of them were in the closet. And 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’ve been accused.”
In 2017 Spacey came out as gay after he was accused by actor Anthony Rapp of assaulting him when Rapp was a minor. Many notable LGBT activists condemned Spacey for equating abuse with his sexuality. Singer is openly bisexual, and worked with McKellen on “Apt Pupil”, on the set of which Singer is claimed to have sexually assaulted a minor.
McKellen’s comments drew backlash, leading to his apology. He previously has been a vocal advocate of LGBT actors being open about their sexuality, saying they shouldn’t fear the effect it could have on their careers.