Christopher Plummer: ‘I think it’s very sad what happened’ to Kevin Spacey

'The Man Who Invented Christmas' Screening

Rebecca Traister at New York Magazine wrote another excellent piece about our new reality of daily stories of powerful men abusing their authority by harassing and assaulting countless women and men – go here to read. It’s a unique moment in the gossip/news/media cycle and I appreciated the chance to just stop for a moment and take stock of how much has changed so quickly, how men around the country are reassessing all of their personal and professional relationships, past and present, and much more. She writes about the guilt the victims feel for not speaking up sooner, for underreacting to acts of harassment and abuse. She writes about how extraordinary and awful all of it is, and how crazy it is that “Really powerful white men are losing jobs — that never happens.” It’s a good read.

I read Traister’s article just before I read this interview with Christopher Plummer. Plummer is “taking over” Kevin Spacey’s role in All the Money in the World, the true story of the kidnapping and ransom of John Paul Getty III. Spacey already filmed his scenes as J. Paul Getty and the film is set to come out in December, but Plummer and the cast are reshooting – at considerable cost – all of the Spacey scenes. Director Ridley Scott apparently insists that it should be done this way following the accusations leveled against Spacey and his history of abusing men and boys. So what does Plummer think about all of this?

The sudden swap and race against time is a welcome challenge for Christopher Plummer, he said—but the veteran actor also feels “awfully sad” for Spacey, given the snowballing sexual-misconduct allegations against the House of Cards star.

“I think it’s very sad what happened to him. Kevin is such a talented and a terrifically gifted actor, and it’s so sad. It’s such a shame,” Plummer told Vanity Fair at the premiere of his latest film, The Man Who Invented Christmas, in New York on Sunday. “That’s all I can say, because that’s it.”

Plummer, who turns 88 a week before the release of All the Money, said he received a call from Scott offering him the part last week. The Sound of Music star did not have trepidation in taking on the role of billionaire J. Paul Getty, he said, despite the circumstances.

“It’s really not replacing him [Spacey]—it’s starting all over again. Although the situation is very sad,” said Plummer. “I’m very saddened by what happened to Kevin, but what can I do? I’ve got a role. I admire Ridley Scott and I’m thrilled to be making a movie for him. And so I thought, that was it. Ages ago I was in contention for [the role], way back. So I was familiar with it, and then Ridley came to me and I agreed. I wanted to work with him. He’s very good. I loved the script. The script is wonderful.”

[From Vanity Fair]

I’m not going to hang all of the patriarchy of the world on Christopher Plummer’s 87-year-old shoulders, but this was not a good statement. Plummer makes it sound like Spacey had to pull out of a film suddenly because of a family emergency or something. No. Spacey is literally being edited out of a film because he was outed as a pervert who preys on teenage boys, below-the-line workers and random men he encounters on a daily basis. Spacey is not the sympathetic figure here and I would hope that Plummer would save his sympathy for Spacey’s victims rather than Spacey himself. “Kevin is such a talented and a terrifically gifted actor, and it’s so sad.” IS IT SAD? Or is sad to think about all of the art and creativity we could have experienced from all of the victims of these sexual predators. Really powerful white men are losing jobs… and the patriarchy is frantically trying to reshuffle and make sure that white dudes still feel aggrieved, right?

71st Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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61 Responses to “Christopher Plummer: ‘I think it’s very sad what happened’ to Kevin Spacey”

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  1. Nikki says:

    UGH. Spacey deserves NO sympathy, and it’s disgusting that Plummer thinks he does. Poor Kevin, he had to face consequences for his vile, predatory behavior. His VICTIMS faced terrible consequences, and they had no CHOICE in the matter. UGH.

    • Down and Out says:

      I don’t necessarily read it as him sympathizing with Spacey, rather saying the situation is overall sad and it’s a shame that he is a predator. Plummer very, very poorly worded it, but I doubt he would have accepted the reshoot role if he thought some great injustice was being done to Spacey. Again, very poorly worded, but I’m not ready to cancel Plummer.

    • M4lificent says:

      I also took it as a poorly worded statement that it’s a shame that Spacey wasted all of his talent and good fortune with his predatorial behavior. At first read, it sounds totally complicit and sympathetic to Spacey. But it’s human nature to switch to passive voice when we want to try to avoid a topic.

      Plummer is trying to be a gentleman and a professional in discussing taking over another actor’s role in a pretty much unprecedented set of circumstances. Even if his subject does not deserve an ounce of gentility, I’m not going to rake an 88-year-old man over the coals for not sounding sufficiently woke when discussing his predecessor’s professional demise.

      • emma33 says:

        Yes, I’m with you on this. It would be awkward for anyone in his position to be commenting, but given that he is 88 and it’s a verbal (not written) statement, I give him a pass. I think he is trying to say that the whole situation is sad.

        (My dad is 83 and I’ve noticed in the past few years that he isn’t as verbally sharp as he used to be, so maybe that’s why I am being lenient!)

      • Nancy says:

        Could he have been referring to the physical and sexual abuse that Kevin received at the hands of his father ? If that’s the case then the whole situation is sad. IF Kevin is a victim ? and then became a perpetrator himself then the whole situation is sad. Note…I’m only question if Kevin is a victim, not if he committed these acts

    • Eleonor says:

      Well Spacey can still have a part in one of the new Woody Allen movie.

    • Nikki says:

      I read every reply that felt Mr. Plummer meant it was sad what had happened, and that the whole thing is sad. We’ll have to agree to disagree this time. His exact words were, “It was sad what HAPPENED TO him..” Even if he meant it’s sad what he became, that involved Spacey’s choice. It didn’t “happen” to him. It “happened” to his victims. It’s sad what happened to them. Any way you slice it, I really dislike his response, but thanks to you more kindhearted posters, I hope he didn’t mean it’s sad that Spacey has been disgraced and stripped of his role.

    • wood dragon says:

      Didn’t read too much sympathy there either. Spacey was talented and he had so much to lose, but he was too busy being an entitled monster to be sensible. It is a shame and Spacey has only himself to blame.

    • Shaz says:

      I know – why do people feel sorry for the offenders – it’s very common, especially in abusive families, to worry more about the offender.

  2. HH says:

    THIS…THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T COME FORWARD. There can be numerous accounts of your sexual abuse and a**holery and the patriarchy will throw a pity party for the perpetrator. God forbid people face consequences for their actions.

    • courtney says:

      yep, this was a grade A shitty response. so dismissive of the victims but filled with empathy for the perpetrator. chris plummer may be a good guy but this statement was anything but good. this is NOT A SAD SITUATION for spacey, its a shitty situation and traumatic one for his victims. i have no sympathy for him at all. he’s not even in legal trouble at this point so he may never formally pay for his crimes. he can’t do movies? tough. this kind of sympathy annoys the hell out of me. pathetic

  3. YeahRight says:

    Guess Captain von Trapp gets cancelled too.
    Le sigh

  4. Jamie42 says:

    I would change “what happened to” Kevin Spacey to “what he did.”

    • Nikki says:

      AMEN! That’s it in a nutshell!!

    • Hella says:

      Not to be an apologist for Spacey, but I think Plummer was feeling guilty for stealing the role from Spacey, so that’s why he is saying ‘it is sad’. Plus, he’s super old, so gets a bit of a pass for not having a perfectly crafted response on the tip of his tongue. This was in an interview, right? Not a written statement?

      • mia girl says:

        The irony is that according to what I read last week, Scott wanted Plummer for the role originally and the studio forced Spacey on him because they said he was a bigger name. In essence, Spacey stole the role from him.

        Also, I’m leaning towards the idea that Plummer meant that it’s “sad” and “a shame” that Spacey proved to be a pervert/harasser/predator. I just think he didn’t articulate it very well.

      • Red Snapper says:

        We’re going to have to collectively decide what to do about the art these predators have created. HW is an animal. And he produced brilliant movies. Bill Cosby is an animal. And a brilliant comedian. How are we going to reconcile these things? Will it ever be possible to love the art and reject the artist? This bothers me, because these pigs have been involved in so many things that I’ve loved.

    • lucy2 says:

      It is a sad situation – sad for the victims. Not for Spacey, and it didn’t “happen to him”.

  5. Regla says:

    Nothing “happened” to Spacey. He “happened” to people. He is the one that violated, assaulted, harassed these men/boys.

  6. thaisajs says:

    It’s sad that Kevin Spacey felt that he could treat other, less powerful, men the way he did. It’s sad he got away with it for so long. He is a terrifically talented actor. And a terrible human being.

  7. Kiki says:

    I think maybe – because he’s from an older generation-, he doesn’t understand what is really going on? Not defending him but could it be?

  8. Beckysuz says:

    I really hope what he means is that it’s sad Kevin Spacey is a nasty pervert who preys on kids

  9. noway says:

    This isn’t worded well, but I’m going to give this almost 88 year old the benefit of the doubt that he meant it to sound better, as I have yet to hear a really good statement from anyone that isn’t a victim yet. (I take that back, Kevin Smith’s statement was good) I just don’t think he knows the right way to say things. What this shows us is I think a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about this, especially men, much less deal with it in any productive way. However, it is sad, mostly for the victims, and yes Spacey was a very talented actor and it is a waste of that talent, but he was also a creep and criminal. Still there is so much more crap going on, I’m not going to worry about his statement.

  10. happyoften says:

    E tu, Christopher? E freakin’ tu?

    Being a serial abuser isn’t sad. It didn’t happen to him. Kevin Spacey is the sad thing that happened to other people.

  11. Talie says:

    He’s being polite. He probably doesn’t want to gloat that they should’ve hired him in the first place!

  12. LAK says:

    I like that Rebecca calls this moment 70s style feminist rage. Take that ‘i’m a feminist, but….’ people. We had really become complacent. Even the *feminazis were cuddly.

    *can someone kick Rush whatshisname?

    This take no prisoners moment of rage is exactly what was needed. A timely reminder of how swiftly sacred cows were demolished then.

    Now can we apply it to all those people opining and legislating women’s bodies too.

  13. Ira says:

    I don’t see any problem with Christopher Plummer’s statement here. I believe that’s how most people react to the revelation. Do we feel sad for the victims? Yes, of course. But the general public more familiar with Kevin Spacey and his performance in movies and tv for decades. I don’t think that statement came for sympathy. We learned the ugly truth about KS last week and it’s sad for everyone.

  14. detritus says:

    I wonder if its out own inability to empathize that creates these tone deaf statements.

    Plummer thinks its sad, because the way it impacts him makes him sad. He wont get to pal around with Spacey, he can’t enjoy his movies, Plummer is sad, therefore, it’s sad.

    There wasn’t a single thought for what the men Spacey harassed went through, because Plummers focus is on Spacey. I think this goes back to a point frisbee made about semantics. We need to be reporting that Spacey assaulted people. Not that people were assaulted and Spacey was named, it helps create a sense of culpability.

  15. Originaltessa says:

    He was put on the spot and he’s 87. No, it’s not a great statement, but he’s not responsible for Kevin Spacey’s actions, and he shouldn’t have to answer for them.

  16. brooksie says:

    I took it as that he is referring to the entire situation as sad, and not so much that he feels bad for Kevin Spacey.

  17. holly hobby says:

    I interpreted as more of a “that with all his talent it’s sad that he headed down that road and he threw it all away.” Not because it’s sad this is happening. Let’s face it, KS had a great career. He was stupid to throw it all away by preying on young men.

    • perplexed says:

      I wondered if that’s what he meant. I often wonder why successful people feel the need to be creeps.

      Of course, you can also be an unsuccessful loser and turn out to be a creep too (as often shown by the news), but I think there is more of a genuine curiosity about why successful people who have talent feel the need to do bad things (i.e OJ, doctors who murder their wives, etc.)

  18. Wicki says:

    First, I am sad for the victims, period. Second, Spacey is a loser, and and I am so sick and tired of hearing people parrot this idea that the fact that someone no longer being able to work is a “waste of talent.” Let’s please get over this idea that no more Kevin Spacey is a great loss, along with any other actor, writer, or artist. The artistic world will be quite okay without any one of these abusers. Everyone is replaceable, and this idea that “talent” (in quotes especially here, because I think Spacey wasn’t that talented, actually), somehow absolves or mitigates bad behavior and when the perpetrator is finally called out their absence is a “loss.” Sorry, but no one is that good. From the first hand account of a friend who worked with him for months on a project he was also an incredibly arrogant, despicable, selfish human being and dreadful to work with. She detested every moment she was forced to work with him and he is frankly, not that talented either. He knew how to work the system and his nastiness and narcissism was an asset in a brutal profession. Talented or not, “losing” him means nothing. There are thousands of actors out there as good or better than he is, so thankfully his loss creates a space for at least one of them.

  19. SF says:

    He phrased it improperly.

    It’s sad that Spacey was able to get away with such horrific, inappropriate and intimidating predatory behavior for so long.

    It’s sad that someone graced with such talent was such a dark, soulless and empty shell for so long.

    That’s what’s sad.


    If an actress said anything close to what he’s saying you’d all be tearing her a new one. Stay predictable, y’all!

  21. Lady Keller says:

    I’m giving him a pass on this one. It’s badly worded but I took it to mean the entire situation is a shame. I used to think Kevin spacey was a good actor and personally I think it’s a shame that someone talented has wasted his gift and is pretty much unemployable now because he’s a giant A-hole. It’s a shame that ridley Scott has to reshoot at what I am sure is a significant cost because of one man’s actions. At no point did Christopher plummer make a douchy statement like these men are just looking for attention, or they should just get over it. In my mind this is just a poorly worded statement.

  22. LilSuzi says:

    The LA County DA has announced the formation of an elite task force that will focus on sexual misconduct within the entertainment industry.

    The task force will be staffed by specially trained sex crimes prosecutors and veteran SVU detectives.

  23. Lisa says:

    I think the overall situation is sad, for all involved. Can you imagine how messed up someone is inside to do that without remorse? I’m not sympathizing with him, but it’s obvious he has a lot of problems.

  24. SM says:

    Ugh. Ridley should have given Chistopher some pointer about what to say. I am sure the film creators who made that decission to replace Spacey with Plumer are now rolling their eyes in despair. Also I wonder if Chistopher actualy knows the reason why Spacey is replaces because from what he says it may be assumed he doesn’t really.
    Also the reaction of men (and some women too) just shows how our societies thrive on achievement amd image. God forbid some no name will acuse a person with status of something terrible. In that case the whole situation is understood as an assault on poor famous, well off personas we like to sdmire because of their achievements not for their character.

  25. whybother says:

    I’m sad too. I’m sad that we take this long to out and bring people like KS. I’m sad that people quick to offer reasons, justifications and sympathies to the predator instead of the victims who suffers for so long, in silence.

  26. magnoliarose says:

    Men his age especially theatre types aren’t always very sober and down to earth in their thinking. He has been around a long time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t some secrets he has never told anyone.
    Perhaps he meant it is sad someone with so much talent became a twisted monster, or he is so uncomfortable with the subject he just said something to run away as fast as he can. He doesn’t understand that nothing happened to Kevin to make him this way. The traditional thinking is something must have turned him this way because he can’t fathom that idea that it would be a choice.

    In other words, he doesn’t know what or how to process or talk about this with depth and clarity and truth be told he doesn’t want to know.