How long does it take for a disgraced white male actor, accused of various forms of sexual misconduct, to achieve redemption? Or, at the very least, to resurface in a big project? In the case of Kevin Spacey, only a few months, certainly less than a full year.
Billionaire Boys Club, a Vertical Entertainment film about a Ponzi scheme that stars Spacey and Ansel Elgort, will hit theaters in August. The movie was filmed in 2015 and 2016, before allegations against Spacey were first made public by actor Antony Rapp in October 2017, who claimed Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old. The number of men who’ve since accused Spacey of sexual misconduct is at least 20, and in January Scotland Yard announced it was investigating three sexual assault claims made against the actor.
This week, Vertical Entertainment shared a statement with The Wrap explaining why they moved forward with the release of Billionaire Boys Club:
“We hope these distressing allegations pertaining to one person’s behavior—that were not publicly known when the film was made almost 2.5 years ago—do not tarnish the release. We don’t condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it. At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theaters, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences.
“In the end, we hope audiences make up their own minds as to the reprehensible allegations of one person’s past, but not at the expense of the entire cast and crew present on this film.”
Billionaire Boys Club marks Spacey’s return to the silver screen after director Ridley Scott booted him from the film All The Money In The World, replacing Spacey with Christopher Plummer. Spacey was also fired from House of Cards, making room for Diane Lane to join the cast. Likewise, the Kevin Spacey Foundation, an organization that aimed to help young artists, kicked the actor out last November, before announcing in February that it would shut down entirely.