The end of Kevin Spacey as we knew him?

spaceyHe’s been champion of the actor’s art, a great interview and on chat shows from late night TV to “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” a charming and hilarious mimic.

His Oscar-winning career got a third act streaming-TV boost from the Netflix remake of “House of Cards.” Check out his credits. They’ve been piling up in the years since that viperous turn altered his profile.

But it’s all ending, and with shocking abruptness, for Kevin Spacey. The accusations are piling up faster than Larry David can say “He’s the Gay Goy Weinstein.”

I have no take on what the legal implications of his actions — civil or criminal — might be.

But chatting with film buff friends, my first thought on all this was, “It’s going to end him.” Whatever the sins of others, this involves minors, and his “apology” offended every gay person who has fought the lingering image of the gay pedophile who only wants to give boys “experience” (Netflix “L.I.E.” if you want to see that endorsed).

Netflix pulled the plug on Spacey’s hit DC power/sex/intrigue series.

Will his Gore Vidal bio-pic “Gore” ever see the light of day?

And now he’s even being edited out of movies he has in the can. “All the Money in the World” has recast Christopher Plummer in the part and is reshooting Spacey’s scenes.

I’ve interviewed him several times over the years and never noticed anything untoward in his behavior. He puts on his “press face” with the best of them, telling stories of taking his dog to out-of-town tryouts for a play in Winston-Salem, where I used to live, laughing at how he would sneak the dog into the nice hotel where the production put him up. He propped up a failing British theater company, has always been complimentary about co-stars (whatever one heard about power-struggles on the set) and never tired of talking about the craft.

Charming, chilling (he’s made a great villain over the years), he’s always seemed an urbane, acting version of his character in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” cultured — but with secrets.

As in almost every case in this current flood of sexual abuse scandals, “patterns” and “power” are the common threads. Weinstein, Toback, Polanski? Not isolated incidents, but patterns of predatory behavior — many victims.

And Spacey is facing the death penalty his profession, so dependent on public goodwill, metes out.

The only problematic part of that punishment is the way some have dodged judgement — until now.  As any doubt evaporates, with multiple accusers emboldened to come out now that the world will listen, some longtime whispered-about (or accused) alleged offenders are paying the price and others, not yet.

When will Switzerland and France get a clue about Polanski? Don’t give me the “He’s too old to assault underage girls any more” defense. Lame. And Woody Allen? All those stars lining up to make his increasingly tone-deaf pictures?  How is that justified in this climate?

Spacey’s career might be justifiably over, but if Hollywood is finally addressing this cloud (Why was convicted offender Victor Salva repeatedly re-employed?), Toback’s, Polanski’s and yes, Woody Allen’s careers are worth questioning. Power and patterns of predatory behavior are what you look for. Will they have the guts to treat every offender the same, at long last?

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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