Saying that Kevin Spacey’s career is toast is an understatement. Within days of actor Anthony Rapp’s late-October accusation that a drunken Spacey had pawed him when Rapp was just 14, the “Me too” queue was stretching from here to London, whose Old Vic repertory theater had apparently tolerated Spacey’s Mr. Gropey vices for a decade. Whichever publicist advised the star that this was a smart time to distract America’s SJWs by coming out as a gay man—how brave, right?—must be the same jackass who told Harvey Weinstein he could make amends for his own burgeoning sexual-predator rap sheet by attacking the National Rifle Association.
In short order, Netflix suspended production on the sixth and final season of House of Cards until Spacey’s President Frank Underwood could be written out of the series. Netflix also pulled the plug on the upcoming, already shot movie Gore, in which Spacey stars as novelist Gore Vidal. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures recast Spacey’s role in Ridley Scott’s All The Money in The World with last-minute replacement Christopher Plummer. Presumably, that’s going to cost Sony a bundle, since the movie wrapped some time ago and is set to hit theaters all of six weeks from now, but if it works, the film could end up rolling in box-office dough.
Assuming Plummer’s health stays good, it might be smart of him to line up a whole bunch of lucrative late-life gigs redoing Spacey’s scenes in everything from American Beauty to The Usual Suspects for future DVDs and Blu-rays. On the other hand, we don’t know how good Plummer’s Louis C.K. impersonation might be.
This is going to make Roy Moore supporters step up to the plate and give more.
Once the New York Times reported charges by five different women about his mania for whipping out his third thumb to masturbate in front of their unwilling eyes, everybody’s favorite existential sad sack had his own new movie—the perturbingly titled I Love You, Daddy, about a Woody Allen-esque filmmaker (John Malkovich) with a predilection for teenage girls—shelved by Orchard Pictures a week before its November 17th premiere. HBO and Netflix have both already dumped him, as has his primary cable outlet, FX, which stripped him of producing credits (aka big paychecks) on four of its shows. Like Weinstein, Spacey and James Toback, among others, he’s too toxic for salvage to be an option, even though—unlike them—Louis C.K. was someone people both in and out of Hollywood had actually been fond of.
If only he or Spacey had been smart enough to run for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. The same day the NYT blew the whistle on Louis C.K.’s compulsion, the Washington Post ran a story featuring testimony from four women about Republican candidate Roy Moore’s inappropriate behavior with them when they were teens and he was in his thirties, including one alleged case of outright molestation when the woman in question was age 14. According to now 52-year-old Leigh Corfman, Moore coerced her to strip off her clothes and then tried to get her to touch him through his underwear. The other three women, aged between 16 and 18 at the time, described behavior that stopped short of sexual contact other than kissing, but that is shocking and disgusting on its own.
Naturally, both the Alabama and national GOP were quick to condemn Moore’s conduct. Distraught at how he’d failed his God, his family and the conservative cause, the 70-year-old reprobate abandoned his candidacy Friday morning as his supporters turned on him with such righteous wrath that he was obviously unelectable anyway. Luther Strange, whom Moore defeated in the primary last September, agreed to take on the job of Christopher Plummer in the December 12 election.
In our dreams, that is. In real life, absolutely none of this happened. Sure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a few other Republican bigwigs made gassy noises that Moore should quit the race “if these allegations are true.” The White House eventually issued a statement taking the same line. But that “if” is a loophole the size of the Luray Caverns, because—in the absence of legal proceedings, not a real option here—it leaves confirming the allegations’ truth to Moore himself. That’s something he won’t ever do.
Instead, his campaign lambasted the charges as—c’mon, guess—“fake news,” concocted by the evil liberal media in tandem with “desperate” Democrats. For an instructive comparison, try Louis C.K.’s statement on Friday: “These stories are true…There is nothing about this I forgive myself for.” Maybe he remembered the bit about “Thou shalt not bear false witness” in the 5,280-pound granite block carved with the Ten Commandments Moore famously installed in his courthouse when he was a judge, gaining him his first national prominence and his loss of his job when he refused to accede to its removal.
Alabama’s State Auditor compared the age gap between Moore and Dorfman to Joseph and the Virgin Mary—which would make Moore a cuckold, not a satyr.
Alabama’s Republican officials didn’t even bother to pretend they cared about having Lolita’s Humbert Humbert on the ballot, so long as he was a good Christian. “I’m not sure Senator McConnell has any say-so in this,” one party higher-up sniffed, according to the WaPo itself. The state’s GOP National Committeeman said, “My gosh, it’s the Washington Post. If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or the Washington Post, Putin wins every time. This is going to make Roy Moore supporters step up to the plate and give more, work more and pray more.”
Calling the charges “much ado about nothing” even if they’re true, Alabama’s State Auditor showed off his Bible scholarship by comparing the age gap between Moore and Dorfman to Joseph and the Virgin Mary—which would, incidentally, make Moore a cuckold, not a satyr. (Speaking of nonconsexual sex, Mary might have had a thing or two to say about her own impregnation, but we digress.) Bibb County’s Republican chairman, the immortally named Jerry Pow, said he’d vote for Moore “even if it was proved he committed a sex crime against an underage girl,” in the Post’s words. “I’m not saying I support what he did,” Pow said, and let’s take note of that unambiguous “did.” No prevarication there.
So let’s remember 2017, which really can’t end soon enough, as the year depraved Hollywood and right-wing Southern fundamentalism swapped places on the spectrum of acceptable morality. Of course, the movie industry’s sudden zero-tolerance attitude toward sex offenders is grotesquely belated and almost comically over-compensatory, and quite possibly temporary in the bargian. We’re also talking about a commercial judgment as much or more than any genuine revulsion. But even so, at least for now, Hollywood is declaring that high-profile sexual harassers, molesters and predators are too far beyond the pale to be suitable investments.
Alabama’s Republicans, by contrast, are declaring that Roy Moore is not too far beyond the pale to be a suitable United States senator, at least not as long as he helps Mitch McConnell preserve the GOP’s majority. If the national party, McConnell included, ends up endorsing that view once Moore wins election next month, which he still easily could, can we at least beg MAGA-minded right-wingers to shut up about how hypocritical and tawdry the Oscars are?