Ian McKellen faced public scrutiny late last week after comments he made on the #QueerAF podcast, in which he claimed that alleged crimes perpetrated by actor Kevin Spacey and director Bryan Singer were the result of them having to live life as closeted gay men.
Given McKellen’s history of working with both Spacey and Singer and his joke that “I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something,” the Oscar-nominated actor was criticized in multiple online venues, prompting a response from the man himself.
In a statement posted to social media this weekend, McKellen retracted those comments and apologized for what he said was a remark that was “clumsily expressed.” “I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused,” McKellen wrote.
1/4 As part of an extended podcast recently, I suggested that if closeted people were instead open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others. That, of course, is wrong. pic.twitter.com/9k6KLH2hx9
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) March 2, 2019
McKellen closed his post by stating, “When it comes to abuse by people in positions of power, the correct response is clear. The accusers must be heard and the accused given the opportunity to clear their names. If the accusations prove credible, the abuser’s access to power should be removed.”
For a recent appearance in which McKellen speaks extensively about his own experiences dealing with being a young actor being forced to deny his own sexuality (and did not make a statement necessary of retraction), listen to his episode of “David Tennant Does a Podcast With…” from last month. The two actors also talk about the process of handling criticism and the loss of privacy that comes with particularly high-profile acting roles.
McKellen’s next film role is slated for this fall, when he’ll reteam with frequent collaborator Bill Condon for the film “The Good Liar,” in which he’ll play a con artist. The director/actor pairing previously worked together on “Gods and Monsters” and “Mr. Holmes.”