In the last few months, it's been reported that some of the men who were taken down by the #MeToo movement are planning comebacks, and it seems Kevin Spacey is now one of them. Spacey's first movie since he was accused of sexual misconduct will be released this summer, though Spacey didn't exactly plan for it that way. Billionaire Boys Club, which stars Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton, was filmed two and a half years ago, but is only being released this July 19. While Spacey plays a supporting character in the film, the trailer for Billionaire Boys Club features him prominently, and his presence is inescapable.
Billionaire Boys Club looks at the true story of a Los Angeles Ponzi scheme in the '80s that resulted in murder. Most of the trailer features Elgort and Egerton Wolf Of Wall Street-ing it: wearing expensive suits, driving even more expensive cars, and just generally bro-ing out. But seeing Spacey, who plays con artist Ron Levin, pop up throughout the clip is definitely off-putting.
The Billionaire Boys Club trailer marks the first time Spacey has been in the public eye since being accused of sexual harassment by actor Anthony Rapp in October of 2017. After Rapp revealed to BuzzFeed News that Spacey had allegedly tried to sexually assault him when he was just 14, Spacey responded by coming out as gay and apologizing, though he claimed he did not remember the incident in question.
"I'm beyond horrified to hear this story," Spacey tweeted, apologizing for what "would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior." He also added, "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man." Many LGBTQ activists and celebrities questioned the timing of his coming out, accusing Spacey of downplaying Rapp's abuse accusations with this reveal.
Following Rapp's allegations, a dozen others, including employees at Spacey's Netflix show House of Cards, came out with similar accusations against the star. While Spacey has not responded to the allegations from House Of Cards employees, Bryan Freedman, a lawyer representing Spacey, told BuzzFeed in a statement following groping allegations by actor Harry Dreyfuss, son of Richard Dreyfuss: “Let me be clear, Mr. Spacey absolutely denies the allegations.”
Many audiences may feel it's too early for the disgraced actor to return to the big screen with Billionaire Boys Club, but not everyone agrees. Actor Richard DuPont, who reportedly plays a drug dealer in the new film, though his credit doesn't appear on the film's IMDb page, told Page Six he felt it was acceptable for Spacey to return. “People have such short memories,” DuPont told Page Six. “And Spacey is almost unrecognizable in a beard and glasses.”
As said, though, many others don't agree with DuPont's assessment of this situation. Twitter user @aestheticpigeon wrote of Spacey, "Can’t believe #BillionaireBoysClub‘s trailer listed his name under ‘academy award winner’. Real classy." There are many out there who believe that Spacey, who was fired from the Netflix series House Of Cards after the allegations against him gained steam, doesn't deserve a second chance.
While the movie's cast, which includes Emma Roberts and Billie Lourd, along with the crew of Billionaire Boys Club, should not be punished for Spacey's alleged misconduct, it is worth asking why the filmmakers didn't try to remove the actor from the final version. After all, that was done for December's All The Money In The World, in which director Ridley Scott replaced Spacey with actor Christopher Plummer, who later earned an Oscar nomination for his performance. At the time, Vanity Fair reported that it was the first time that a finished film had been reshot due to a scandal surrounding an actor.
The studio and director James Cox of Billionaire Boys Club have yet to comment on why they kept Spacey in the film. They have also not said whether Spacey's role in the film has been changed in any way since the allegations.
It's likely that the studio, director, and cast behind Billionaire Boys Club will try and separate themselves from Spacey, but right now, that might be hard to do since he's featured throughout the trailer. Unfortunately, no amount of costuming can hide the fact that Spacey does star in Billionaire Boys Club, and it just might be what keeps people from seeing this movie.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.