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Kevin Spacey’s Absolution in Court Does Not Assure a Hollywood Comeback

Despite Legal Clearance, Industry Stance on Spacey Remains Highly Skeptical

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US actor Kevin Spacey poses for photographers on the red carpet ahead of the world premiere of the television series 'House of Cards - Season 3 Episode 1' in London on February 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has been acquitted of nine charges concerning sexual assault and indecent assault by a U.K. jury. Now, questions arise about whether Hollywood will reopen its doors to the high-profile actor following his legal vindication.

Despite his prodigious talent, represented by his Oscar wins for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, and iconic roles in ’90s movies like Glengarry Glen Ross, Se7en, L.A. Confidential, the path to a comeback seems uncertain. Comparisons with directors Woody Allen, Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, and Joss Whedon, none of whom were formally charged yet continue to face industry cold shoulder due to abuse allegations, cast a shadow on Spacey’s future prospects.

A studio executive’s text reply to the possibility of casting Spacey encapsulates the prevailing sentiment: “Hell no.” Other anonymous insiders suggest that while he might find opportunities outside the U.S., a significant Hollywood project seems unlikely.

The charges against Spacey stemmed from four individual complaints, with allegations ranging from inappropriate touching to sexually coercive behavior. Spacey maintained his innocence throughout, admitting to a consensual relationship with one accuser and describing another incident as a “clumsy pass.” He vehemently denied the most serious charge of inducing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity, which carried a potential life sentence.

The jury’s verdict, after two and a half days of deliberation, brought Spacey to tears. Spacey, celebrating his 64th birthday on the verdict day, thanked the jury for examining the evidence carefully before reaching a decision, saying he felt “humbled” by the outcome.

This isn’t Spacey’s first legal victory against such allegations, having previously won against a $40 million civil lawsuit by actor Anthony Rapp.

Spacey’s manager, Evan Lowenstein, now faces the challenge of securing roles for the actor, who hasn’t appeared in a mainstream Hollywood movie since 2017’s Baby Driver. While he has participated in indie and international productions, his Hollywood exile persists.

As Hollywood grapples with the issue, it appears that Spacey’s legal absolution may not be sufficient to overcome the collective industry sentiment shaped by years of contentious behavior. As this suggests, the court of public opinion holds immense sway, proving that for Spacey, a cleared legal record does not necessarily translate into a cleared reputation. As Spacey’s House of Cards character, Frank Underwood might say, “Democracy is so overrated.”

Morgan Snyder

Morgan Snyder is a highly respected senior correspondent for Los Angeles Magazine. With over 20 years of experience in the field of journalism, Morgan is known for his insightful reporting and in-depth analysis of local and national issues.

Morgan began his career as a staff writer for a small newspaper in his hometown before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a correspondent. He quickly made a name for himself in the industry, earning praise for his coverage of everything from politics and crime to culture and entertainment.

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