Will acquitted Kevin Spacey get back his career now?
Spacey was at the top of his Hollywood game until he was hit with sexual harassment allegations that effectively blacklisted him.
Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein produced “Shakespeare in Love” and “Good Will Hunting,” but he’s best remembered for jump-starting the #MeToo movement.
That revolution ended several careers, including that of Weinstein and two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.
Weinstein had his day in court, and he’s staring down 16 years in jail for sexually assaulting Hollywood starlets.
Spacey had his day in court, too. More than one, actually. Both times he’s come up not guilty, including the just-wrapped British trial Wednesday on nine counts of sexual assault.
Last year, a Manhattan federal jury acquitted the actor on battery charges filed by actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed the star made a sexual advance on him in 1986 when he was 14.
Will Spacey be allowed back on a movie set anytime soon? It’s complicated.
The actor’s career collapsed when the assault allegations first went public.
Director Ridley Scott scrapped Spacey’s finished scenes from 2017’s “All the Money in the World” and hired Christopher Plummer to recreate his character weeks before the film’s Dec. 25 release date.
The “Sound of Music” alum earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing J. Paul Getty in the project.
Spacey was reduced to appearing in YouTube videos where he recreated his Frank Underwood character from Netflix’s “House of Cards.”
Now, Spacey claims several Hollywood players are eager to work with him as soon as possible, following his most recent court victory.
That may be wishful thinking.
Some of #MeToo victims haven’t had the chance to defend themselves in a court of law but remain unemployable. They include director Brett Ratner of “Rush Hour” fame, accused in a 2017 Los Angeles Times article of sexually harassing several stars including Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.
He hasn’t had a directorial credit since then, and reports in 2021 that he would helm a Milli Vanilli biopic were quickly dashed.
Accusations also stalled the career of award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman. A former intern on the set of the 1985 production of “Death of a Salesman” claimed Hoffman sexually harassed her, one of several charges hurled at “The Graduate” star.
Hoffman, now 85, saw his steady flow of gigs all but dry up. Years later, he has three projects on the horizon including Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis.”
Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick saw his career implode following allegations of “sexual abuse” made by a former partner. The actor/comedian maintained his innocence and eventually resumed his professional life following an investigation by AMC, the company that produced his “Talking Dead” series.
Woody Allen remains persona non grata in Hollywood despite never being found guilty in a court of law.
Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, claimed in 1992 that the iconic director molested her in mother Mia Farrow’s Connecticut home. She was seven at the time.
The “Annie Hall” director wasn’t charged following an investigation into the allegations, but the accusations remain one of the most hotly debated topics in the industry.
The industry ignored the salacious charges for decades until the MeToo revolt. Suddenly, Farrow’s allegations coaxed the industry to reject Allen, forcing the 87-year-old to film outside the U.S.
Similarly, director Roman Polanski earned a standing ovation at the 2003 Oscars ceremony for his triumphant film, “The Pianist.” That’s despite Polanski admitting to drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977 (in addition to subsequent sexual abuse allegations).
The #MeToo Revolution guilted Hollywood into belatedly blacklisting the auteur.
Hollywood is all about appearances, from the glamorous stars who decorate the screen to offscreen rumors and salacious headlines.
Spacey’s court victories didn’t seize the zeitgeist like a recent celebrity case involving sexual abuse allegations.
Johnny Depp’s win over former partner Amber Heard generated wall-to-wall media coverage, much of it favorable to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
The culture sensed the MeToo movement had overplayed its hand, another factor in Depp’s favor.
Depp got back his career, but the star isn’t rushing to portray Capt. Jack Sparrow any time soon. He might return to indie filmmaking, where he started his career following his “21 Jump Street” success.
Spacey should be so lucky. Innocent until proven guilty matters little in Hollywood.