Well, it's been a banner week for longtime (alleged*) sexual harassers in the world of entertainment - major accusations against Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Dick, and Brett Ratner were all doled out within the span of three days. You can very easily find the accusations by googling any of these guys' names - we won't go into too much detail here, one because there's nothing funny about what any of these men are being accused of, and secondly because it's much funnier to watch powerful men who realize they're caught desperately scramble to make excuses.
That's why we're looking at the way these men responded to the allegations, all realizing that their careers and reputations were on the line and decided to go about it in the most bone-headed ways possible:
1. Kevin Spacey
"I don't remember this specifically because I do stuff like that a lot. But if I DID do that, it was because I was drunk. And gay. Being drunk and gay is an okay excuse for attempted pedophilia, right?"
Wow, Kevin Spacey really, REALLY went all-out with this genuinely baffling attempt at deflection of one of the more horrifying allegations to come to light as of late - the issue is much darker than even your run-of-the-mill sexual assault allegation: this was against a minor, a 14 year old kid. He was trying to seduce and force himself onto a child - and his response was:
- This was a long time ago, who even remembers? (trying to cast doubt on Anthony Rapp)
- If I did do it, I'd suuuure be sorry! (this is not an apology, or even approaching one - it's a hypothetical, which he's not committing to)
- It sounds like WHOEVER did the bad things there was drunk - and people do lots of crazy stuff when they're drunk, right? Like pedophilia. (I have been drunk and been around lots of drunk people in my life, and none ever tried to have sex with a kid)
- Hey guys, I'm gay! (a wildly irrelevant detail - someone's sexuality has absolutely zero to do with being sexually inappropriate with a minor)
It's that last one that's really the coup-de-grace in this shitty non-apology - he's using his "coming out" as a deflection against the allegations being made against him. Luckily, it didn't work - the industry as a whole seems to be in the process of rejecting Spacey entirely, his Netflix show is effectively cancelled (if only that would have happened 3 seasons ago), and more and more allegations are pouring in.
2. Jeremy Piven
"I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen. It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn't happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard."
"You should always believe women who come forward with allegations of sexual assault...except in this case, when it's about me. All the other times though."
Attempting to retain perceived wokeness in the midst of denying a series of sexual assault allegations is never a good idea - the two ideas are not compatible, so why are you even bothering? Either straight up deny the allegations, or admit that you're part of a larger systemic problem of powerful men exploiting and using their positions to exert themselves on others. In both cases, everyone's still gonna know you're guilty as hell (I mean, we should probably just ASSUME everyone who was ever on Entourage is guilty of some kind of sexual assault), but at least we won't also think you're a hypocrite.
3. Dustin Hoffman
"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."
"The Mr. Bergstrom episode of The Simpsons is ruined forever. I am sorry."
Honestly, this is the closest to a halfway decent response to some pretty grotesque allegations we've seen all week. That's the sunny view of this. The other side of the coin is that the bar has been set so unbelievably low that basically any response that isn't "THAT SLUT IS A GODDAMN LIAR" is nigh commendable. He at least says the words "I am sorry" without including an "if" in that sentence, so there's something.
However, everything is couched in "anything I might have done" and "uncomfortable situation." He's effectively trying to cast doubt that he did or said the specifics of what is being alleged, saying he "might" have done stuff that would have inadvertently put someone in an "uncomfortable situation" (being groped and being the target of frequent lewd comments from a major Hollywood actor who you admired is a lot, lot more traumatic than "uncomfortable"). So, yeah, it's still regular levels of shitty.
Bonus Detail: I can't NOT mention this, because it's the most baffling and perplexing example of "lewd language" I've ever heard in my life. It's alleged that the victim (who was serving as a production assistant assigned to Hoffmann) asked Hoffmann for his breakfast order one morning, to which he replied:
"I'll have a hard-boiled egg ... and a soft-boiled clitoris."
...what the fuck? Does he think that even counts as a "sexually suggestive remark"? That sounds like a goddamn serial killer talk. "Soft-boiled clitoris" seems like it would be a deleted scene from an episode of Hannibal, not Dustin Hoffman's attempt at being cheeky.
4. Andy Dick
"I didn't grope anybody. I might have kissed somebody on the cheek to say goodbye and then licked them. That's my thing -- I licked Carrie Fisher at a roast. It's me being funny. I'm not trying to sexually harass people.
I didn't grab anybody's genitals. Of course I'm going to proposition people. I'm single, depressed, lonely and trying to get a date. They can just say no, and they probably did and then I was done."
"I'M ANDY DICK, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?!"
To be fair, Andy Dick being accused of inappropriate sexual assault is amongst the least surprising news in history - he's so infamous for his "antics" that in the same article, he goes on to say "my middle name is 'misconduct.' They know what they signed up for." and "I don't grope people anymore. I don't expose myself anymore." That last bit is in reference to the countless times Andy Dick has been publicly seen groping others and exposing his genitals. To make it EVEN CLEARER, Andy Dick was portrayed on American Dad as an even drunker, more depraved version of Roger.
Still, his statement is pretty horrible - but at least CLEARLY didn't go through the normal PR machine to make it as legally defensible as possible. He outright says he probably licked someone's face (and that's okay because it's just him being funny! Everyone would definitely feel totally fine with Andy Dick trying to kiss them and lick their face!) and propositions people who DO NOT WANT TO BE AGGRESSIVELY PROPOSITIONED BY NOTED SEXUAL ASSAULTER ANDY DICK.
5. Brett Ratner
Ratner himself hasn't personally responded to the multitude of allegations against him by actresses like Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, but rather allowed his lawyer, Martin D. Singer, to do it for him:
"I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client."
Oh, also he's suing one of the women for libel.
"I'M GUILTY AS HELL AND I'M GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST PIECE OF SHIT POSSIBLE ABOUT IT."
Remember when the worst thing about Brett Ratner was that he tanked the X-Men franchise with the abominable X3: The Last Stand? Simpler times. Now we're faced with a much darker Brett Ratner - one who rapes women, assaults them, forces them to watch him masturbate, harasses them for years afterward, and more. And then, when these accusations are finally reaching the light of day, he has his LAWYER release his response and sues one of the women.
Congrats, Brett Ratner - you outshined even Andy Dick.