On the heels of sexual assault allegations which are being aimed at several high-profile players within the realms of Hollywood, This is Us is removing a Kevin Spacey reference from its upcoming episode, giving fans another great reason to support the awesome television series. The breakout family drama, which appears on the NBC network, has long been commended for its progressive views and ability to tackle social topics such as racism, drug addiction, alcoholism, adoption, obesity, cancer, and sexual fluidity in a way that is consistently compelling and touching to audiences. Aligning with those socially-prominent messages, E! indicates that This is Us has decided to edit out a line from its Halloween episode which is set to air on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The original version of the hourlong episode, which was filmed two months ago and released to the members of the media prior to its modification, reportedly featured a scene in which a young Kevin Pearson's roommate comes home to inform him that he snagged a role in a new film featuring Kevin Spacey, according to Entertainment Weekly. Along with the news that he landed the gig, he also reveals that he's been invited to attend the director's party with the Spacey and the rest of the movie's cast. 20th Century Fox Television released a statement, revealing the producer's decision to remove the comments related to the 56-year-old "House of Cards" star. "In light of recent events, the producers have decided to remove the brief reference to Kevin Spacey," the announcement read.
The details of the story appear to be similar to the events which were detailed by actor Anthony Rapp, who, during an interview with Buzzfeed, alleged that Spacey befriended him while they were both performing on Broadway. Rapp claimed that Spacey allegedly invited him to a party, where he would later allegedly carry Rapp to his bed, and allegedly make sexual advances towards him. Rapp claims that the event took place in 1986, when he was merely 14-years-old, making Spacey 26 at that time. Amidst the allegations, Spacey took to Twitter to release a statement that in part reads:
"I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."
During the public apology, Spacey also addressed his sexuality and revealed that he is, in fact, a gay man. He continued,
"This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy," he continued. He also acknowledged for the first time publicly that "I now choose to live as a gay man."
Portions of Spacey's statement were met with criticism from many who felt that he attempted to overshadow the indications of molestation by making the revelation about his sexual orientation.
It goes without saying that the allegations being lodged against Spacey, should they be true, are completely inexcusable and reprehensible on many levels. The unfathomable anguish that Rapp, now 46, has allegedly had to carry over the past 32 years years is certainly something that no human should ever have to bear. Buzzfeed indicates that Rapp has never spoken to anyone about the assault since it occurred in the mid '80s. The Star Trek: Discovery actor shared some detail on the internal issues he's endured during the three-plus decades since the alleged encounter with Spacey took place. In his interview he told Buzzfeed, "Seeing Spacey now, my stomach churns. I still to this day can't wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It's just deeply confusing to me.”
It remains to be seen just how This is Us plans to revamp the scene which was to feature the actor's name, however, the fact that producers quickly jumped into action in order to make the change just adds to the greatness and power of the beloved series and its show-runners.