At a Monday night Oxford lecture honouring the late conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, American actor Kevin Spacey made an unexpected appearance. It was Kevin’s first performance in front of an audience since his London acquittal on accusations of sexual assault.
Kevin was asked to the stage by The Spectator assistant editor Douglas Murray to present a monologue from “Timon of Athens” during the event, which was headlined “What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Cancel Culture.” A good opportunity for Spacey to address the public and end his quiet about the Me Too accusations he has received, which resulted in the cancellation of his successful television series House of Cards and his subsequent implicit exclusion from Hollywood.
“It’s about what happens when a society drops a person for no reason,” Murray said, regarding the specific sequence that Spacey was required to do.“It’s something that has been on Kevin’s mind, as it was on Roger Scruton’s mind, so I said I want him to be back on stage in the U.K.”
The performance was then given by Spacey, who made his way across the audience before delivering the monologue’s last line: “I am sick of this false world, and will not love it!” A standing ovation was given Kevin Spacey when he returned after angrily storming out of the room.
Douglas emphasised how much this scenario spoke to Roger and Kevin. The crowd responded enthusiastically to Kevin’s performance, and he received a standing ovation after a dramatic escape and re-entry.
He averred, “In an era of cancellation and defenestration, we sometimes forget that we cannot go on like this and that we have been here before. We know this because our greatest writers and artists have addressed this question in their own times.”
After a four-week trial, Kevin was found not guilty of sexual assault allegations in the UK in July. Between 2004 and 2013, he was said to have sexually assaulted four different males. He had already been found not guilty of comparable allegations in a New York trial in 2022.
His most recent movie, “Control,” had its premiere, but it was called off by a London movie theatre, sparking controversy.
The administration of the theatre strongly disagreed with this choice, but less than 24 hours after the cancellation, a new location was secured for the premiere.