March 4, 2019

"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. My intention was to encourage the LGBT audience I was addressing to be proud and open about their sexuality. In doing so, my point was clumsily expressed. I would never, ever trivialize or condone abuse of any kind. I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologize unreservedly for any distress I caused."

Said Ian McKellen, backing off after criticism for observing that actor Kevin Spacey and director Bryan Singer "were in the closet" and "If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused."

96 comments:

Charlie said...

Hopefully soon, everyone will stop apologizing.

Achilles said...

Oh god.

Another discussion we cannot have in good faith.

Because BIGOT HATER RACIST!

Fernandinande said...

It's deeply naughty to state or imply that members of a Vulnerable Group™ might be mean to other people. Keep your eyes on The Narrative, everyone!

rhhardin said...

A minefield with buried apologies you can also step on and die.

The point is to run the minefield.

daskol said...

Is it a minefield or is it the third rail? You can run a minefield and get lucky but you can't touch the third rail at all without getting zapped.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with LBT's is they have no sense of humor. G's were okay before woke hit. Okay = clever and amusing; a way of fitting in.

Ken B said...

What about the Q you bigoted bastard??

rhhardin said...

Kevin Spacey is okay in movies. I don't actually remember what offense has offended the easily offended today. He's an actor though, so you'd assume gay.

rhhardin said...

I mean who goes prancing around wanting to pretend to be somebody else.

SDaly said...

McKellan was a part of Spacey's and Singer's Hollywood boy-chasing crowd, (as were David Geffen and Michael Huffington). Rumor's of McKellan's abusing aspiring teen actors are starting to bubble up.

Seeing Red said...

Just because that’s his personality, doesn’t mean that’s their personality.

rhhardin said...

Here's your gay right here
Prance v
late 14c., originally of horses, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English pranken "to show off," from Middle Dutch pronken "to strut, parade" (see prank); or perhaps from Danish dialectal prandse "to go in a stately manner." Klein suggests Old French paravancier. Related: Pranced; prancing. As a noun from 1751, from the verb.

Skeptical Voter said...

Cat fight.

Shouting Thomas said...

We need more people in closets.

rhhardin said...

The you've got your horse in the closet. Trouble.

rhhardin said...

Thurber says horses appreciate flowered shower curtains, if kept indoors.

Yancey Ward said...

I suspect McKellen is likely to be caught up in the same scandal as Singer.

todd galle said...

This shall not pass....

Yancey Ward said...

There the the beginnings of a movement to try to justify pederasty. One can't read McKellen's original statement without understanding this, because his post-hoc explanation really doesn't make any sense otherwise.

Chuck said...

It reads like such a standard, rote, meaningless apology.

But then I imagined it in the voice of Sir Ian McKellen, as he would read it, and it was almost believable.

Rosalyn C. said...

Of course it's not that simple. Heterosexuals like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton, to name two, were always open about their sexual orientation. Just because they were open about it doesn't mean they automatically got all the partners they wanted to have sex with them. Coersion was necessary. If you look at the sex trafficking industry around the world, well you see how absurd his statement is.

Yancey Ward said...

If you break down McKellen's original statement logically, it would along the lines of this-

"Singer and Spacey were closeted and thus had to find unwilling underage teens to abuse. If they had been more open, the underage teens they found would have been willing ones-"

McKellen then tried to pull it back when called out on it.

phantommut said...

A classic Kinsley gaffe.

RBE said...

Where are all the gay and lesbians outraged over what has happened within the catholic church for decades if not centuries. There are plenty of narcissistic perverts that are straight but many are gay, too. In my mind the closet door has been wide open for a long time but the "sexual whatever goes" community doesn't want to claim any of the bad stuff...just deny harm done or want victim status.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

maybe he meant a "walk-in" closet

LordSomber said...

It's Hollywood, folks. The abuse will continue no matter the sexual preference.

Tommy Duncan said...

I'm currently committing both a thoughtcrime and a facecrime. Can I have my bullet in the head now?

SDaly said...

Also - Singer was not closeted.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

is he a "Sir" like Sir Jimmy Savile ?

Virgil Hilts said...

If catholic priests could get married or at least have sex with other people (of either sex), I do think the sexual abuse of nuns and young boys might decrease. Is that a controversial position - does it offend Catholics? Also have a casual bet with my wife that the celibacy vow will be optional within 20 years.

Mark said...

If catholic priests could get married or at least have sex with other people (of either sex), I do think the sexual abuse of nuns and young boys might decrease.

And what is your reasoning on that?

That married people do not sexually abuse others? That openly sexually active people in general do not abuse others?

Lance said...

McKellen's a great actor.

Chuck said...

Apologize!

Kevin said...

@Virgil, I'll take that bet. 20 years is a very short period of time compared to 2000. Even a communist pope hasn't got that much power. The only way this would happen would be if the Church had fallen so far that what it did wouldn't matter anyway.

John Holland said...

Andrew Sullivan has made the identical argument w.r.t. homosexuals high up in the Catholic clergy:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/02/andrew-sullivan-the-vaticans-corruption-has-been-exposed.html

His remarks are in the context of reviewing a book by a gay reporter on the huge number of gay cardinals, bishops and bureaucrats in the Vatican, and their secret decadent lifestyles of non-stop sexual license and abuse contrasted with their official anti-gay preaching.

Sullivan says, in effect, if the bishops weren't forced to lie about themselves, they wouldn't be seducing and raping so many seminarians and spending so much church money on twink prostitutes. Solution: give up clerical celibacy and the "disordered sexuality" rhetoric, let the bishops out of the closet, and everything will clear itself up.

I'll have to think about that.

rhhardin said...

Yay, it's Mark Steyn for Rush.

Francisco D said...

What's wrong with being closeted?

I am putting up extra shelving in our master closet tomorrow. I will be closeted most of the day.

Yancey Ward said...

"Also - Singer was not closeted."

Neither was Spacey. It is what makes McKellen's original comment so disturbing- he really only could have been describing the desire of sex with young teenagers.

rhhardin said...

Socrates (see Phaedrus) liked young boys. I don't know if he was an actor. Actor seems too insincere for him, as an occupation.

rhhardin said...

A good name for closeted people would be Claude.

William said...

I didn't understand his original statement, nor his apology. I presume there is a dignified and ethical way to be either an open or closeted homosexual. I also presume that there are more risk factors associated with being gay and, if you wish to be dignified and/or ethical as a gay, you have to work harder at it ........For what it's worth, McKellan has the best King Lear, although that probably has more to do with Trevor Nunn's direction than McKellan's performance. At any rate, he made a better Lear than Ian Holm or Laurence Olivier.

SDaly said...

The Church's gay pederasty problem would not go away with open non-celibate gay priests. Neither the "closet" nor priestly celibacy caused them to become pederasts.

Predators go where the prey is. The closeted priests/bishops/cardinals got into their positions precisely because that would give them access to teenage boys, just like the Singer/Spacey guys in Hollywood have the power to satiate their desires with the lure of fame and riches.

This doesn't implicate gay men as a group, but based upon past experience, I am suspicious of any man who gets involved with boys' activities if they don't also have a son involved.

rhhardin said...

It's the Greek New Deal.

Robert Cook said...

"If catholic priests could get married or at least have sex with other people (of either sex), I do think the sexual abuse of nuns and young boys might decrease. Is that a controversial position - does it offend Catholics? Also have a casual bet with my wife that the celibacy vow will be optional within 20 years."

I think the Catholic priesthood has a higher than average number of pederasts and closeted gays (or so it appears) for their population size because of their vows of celibacy. It provides a respected position in the community where there is no obligation to have a wife, and no questions are asked "Why don't you have any girlfiends?" That they have access to boys is also part of it, but I think it is primarily because it gives them unimpeachable cover for their true desires...or did so until very recently. I don't think the voluntary enforced celibacy drives them to their unsavory behavior.

Pettifogger said...

That's a forthright apology. We don't see many of those these days.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I get his original meaning. Clumsy, but so what? He was expressing an opinion.
I am offended by the leftwing mind-crime apology pitch forkers.

mockturtle said...

The sacrosanct folk can never be guilty. Ever.

Tom said...

Well, we’ll find out. We’ve removed significant barriers to being publicly gay. My guess is that abuses continue because people have jacked up sexual needs and desires - some far more than others.

mockturtle said...

Cookie@11:34: Yes. Both proclivity and the unnatural [for most] celibacy are responsible for these crimes against children. Calvin wrote in the mid-16th century in his Institutes of the Christian Religion that this problem existed in the clergy and in monastic communities. After all, even Peter [according to the RCC, the first 'pope'] was married.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Moar like STUMBLEDORE AMIRITE!

tcrosse said...

So how do we explain the naughtiness of Michael Jackson?

Oso Negro said...

@mockturtle - So....unnatural celibacy is a gateway to pederasty? I would think that a proclivity for pederasty would instead facilitate the vow of celibacy. One would be giving up something (access to mature vaginas) that is not desired.

rhhardin said...

I don't think child sexual abuse was a public problem until the 1970s, when it was found it had media ratings; so anyway not historically in previous centuries.

Ian Hacking in Critical Inquiry in 1991 I think, The Making and Molding of Child Abuse
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1343837?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

It certainly didn't come up when I was a kid in the 50s.

Google a bit of the text and maybe there's the whole thing on the web somewhere.

MikeR said...

"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."
I think that is true. Abusers will continue to abuse others whichever.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

As a polysexual ecosexual, I stand brothers in arms with the pitchforks.

gerry said...

McKellan's remarks may be the signal for entertainment, artistic, and academic intelligentsia to begin the campaign to socially legitimize pederasty and pedophilia.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oso Negro: So....unnatural celibacy is a gateway to pederasty?

Not answering for Mocktutle. But, yes. In a way. People naturally desire closeness to other human beings and love and of course sex.

The Priests were celibate, not necessarily by choice, but by custom. Quite often the Priest would have been forced into that role by their family because it was prestigious to have a son in the Priesthood. Even if by choice, it is a difficult choice to adhere to. In order to have sex they had several options.

Just do it and don't hide it. Have sex with a woman in the parish. The result of that would be immediate censuring by the Church authorities AND by the parishioners. Huge scandal.

Do it with a woman in the Parish, and try to hide it. If found out, the results would be the same as above.

Choose a more subservient person to initiate sexual contact with who won't tell. It could be a Nun who is equally frustrated. This happened more than you probably imagine. Choose an equality frustrated heterosexually inclined Priest.

Not with a Nun? Then when those who the Priest is most often interacted with. Nuns interacted with the girls in the Parish. The Priests interacted mostly with the boys. Altar boys and other types of activities for young men.

Therefore, the easiest, closest, most impressionable objects of sexual opportunity are young boys. Young boys who are also confused about sexuality and who can be more persuaded to keep quiet. Ta Dah! Pederasty.

Not by choice, necessarily, but by opportunity and convenience.

Not supporting this idea. Merely explaining the human condition.

ken in tx said...

Peter had a mother-in-law, it's in the New Testament. So, he must have had a wife. It's not just RCC say so.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Nobody is safe from the mob.

Best practice would be to tell them to go pound sand.

I almost said "...tell them to bugger off," but given that this is Ian McKellen we're talking about...

Oso Negro said...

@DBQ - I have been a sexually active heterosexual male for the past 50 years. It is my testimony that temporary lack of vaginal access has never, ever, ever led me to eye young boys in a sexual manner. It's just not there.

JohnAnnArbor said...

At least he didn't apologize just for offending; he said he was wrong up front.

Not the most common approach nowadays.

n.n said...

Human agency is susceptible to climate change and freewill is an illusion driven by fair winds. #HateLovesAbortion

Kirk Parker said...

Is no one else going to respond to the idiocy aspect of his apology?

1. X is a problem.
2. Here's a way we might reduce the incidence of X.
3. OMG you're trivializing X!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Oso Negro

I believe you :-D

However, in the Catholic Priesthood, it wasn't temporary lack of sexual activity that was (is?) demanded. It was a lifetime. For young priests....that is a long long time.

Not everyone is strong willed. Not everyone is exclusively heterosexual. When you put people into an unnatural situation, eventually, some of them will break.

The Celibate Priest was, originally, a method to prevent a hereditary priesthood from arising, that would gather the riches, land, money, power of their areas and be tempted to break away from the control of Rome. Rome, which was very very far away.

By prohibiting children of the priests to even exist (or be acknowledged) the wealth would go to Rome and not the local Priest and his family.

Celibacy when chosen is probably fine. When forced...not so much. The idea of a celibate Priest is outdated and counterproductive.

Sebastian said...

"let the bishops out of the closet, and everything will clear itself up"

If by "clearing up" they mean clearing away a millennium of doctrine and practice--sure. The case made here is the turn in the prog narrative: so far, the story was priests-abuse-kids, now it is becoming clear that the abuse was mostly gays having as much sex as possible, with anyone of any age, so to forestall further damage to the prog cause, the story has to change to the-church-made-them-do-it. Gays good, church bad, nuf said.

Except that "bishops" will then indulge their sexual proclivities openly, which 1. will scandalize a large number of actual Catholics; 2. lead to more abuse of "children," i.e., teenage boys, and 3. call into question more of the church's teaching. Which progs will count as a blessing, using the abuse scandal as a double whammy: the abuse can be used to bankrupt the church, and now the fallout can be used to open the closets and empty the pews. As a matter of social justice.

Of course, since I'm not playing for any of the teams, I don't have a dog in this fight, may Althouse forgive me for this linguistic sin.

Oso Negro said...

@DBQ - Precisely! Which is why normal, heterosexual men could never have been expected to flock to the celibacy (well, supposed) of the priesthood.

Laslo Spatula said...

"The idea of a celibate Priest is outdated and counterproductive."

It damned well better be "counterproductive": if the celibate priest is reproductive then his teleporting sperm are a threat to the uteruses of women and men everywhere.

I am Laslo.

JPS said...

Chuck, 11:03:

Greatest unreserved apology ever. Thanks for reminding me.

LTC Ted said...

I weary of "It's not the criminal's fault. It's the fault of society/the church/past trauma."

Robert Cook said...

"I don't think child sexual abuse was a public problem until the 1970s, when it was found it had media ratings; so anyway not historically in previous centuries."

It was a hidden problem.

"It certainly didn't come up when I was a kid in the 50s."

Are you sure? Maybe you didn't recognize it when it was. When I was a young child in very early 60s, we were warned in school by a visiting police officer about "men trying to give you candy" and we should never go with them or get in their cars, etc. There was never anything spelled out about what they would do to us if they got us, but we were warned to avoid these men and never go with them anywhere. I didn't know about sexual molestation, but I assumed the men would hurt or kill me. I asked my parents, but they just said there were bad men who did bad things.

Bill Peschel said...

I never considered an actor's opinion to be worth more than spit on a sidewalk, but it was lowered in Ian's case when he refused to believe Shakespeare existed.

Flat-earthers have more credibility.

chuck said...

Shut up and grovel, McKellen. And next time let the Party write your speech.

rhhardin said...

It was a hidden problem.

More accurately, it was taken as a personal moral failing, but between you and your priest. Like drinking.

Drunk driving had the same private problem status until the 60s.

The sociological question is how you discover a new public problem. It's a route to political power if you do it.

Joesph Gusfield was a sociologist who specialized in the question.

The public problem conversions obvious to me, since they happened after I grew up, were drunk driving, child abuse and dangerous dogs.

Things were fine when I was a kid. That makes me very hard to brainwash on the matter.

Jamie said...

Sebastian and sdaley, exactly. Pederasts - or ephebophiles - go where the prey is, and gay men until pretty recently could more easily have the sex they wanted if they're lifestyle offered a ready explanation for why they weren't married.

Not being male, I don't feel competent to comment on what male sex drive will drive men to do; my own drives have never driven me anywhere I didn't consciously choose. But my (quintessentially female) desire for Relationship with a capital R has certainly driven me to some strange and unpleasant destinations, so I'm perfectly able to believe that powerful drives in men can overwhelm their moral sense, at least at times.

Jamie said...

Their, that is...

mockturtle said...

How about those 'trolls under the bridge' that kids were warned about in fairy tales?

Robert Cook said...

"Things were fine when I was a kid. That makes me very hard to brainwash on the matter."

What does this mean? Are you being ironic? Do you think child molestation was not a problem in the 50s, or earlier?

rhhardin said...

"Things were fine when I was a kid. That makes me very hard to brainwash on the matter."

What does this mean? Are you being ironic? Do you think child molestation was not a problem in the 50s, or earlier?


It wasn't a public problem. Which means, most likely (going after what common usage would be for the matter), it doesn't happen often enough to raise itself in public consciousness as requiring the costs of action, to privacy and so forth.

In a large population, though, you can find lots of cases and so a political activist can make it a public problem, essentially distorting the risk to (say) your own children.

Take ownership of the problem, say the debate is already over, and you have political power. Just to summarize brutally Gusfield's analysis.

A large part of the dynamics is, wait for it, soap opera women.

This is all obvious is you grew up before these moral failings became public problems. You know they're rare enough not to turn up in a typical life, because they didn't. A TV news viewer would have a different view, as we see.

rhhardin said...

What's his name, Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig (famous psychiatrist with among other things sex abuse victims as clients) says that hysteria over child sexual abuse is actually harmful to the child-victim. Which doesn't surprise me. Turns what could mean nothing into a lifelong trauma.

At least what we as kids never even considered into a daily worry for kids today.

That's how we walked and biked miles and miles to grade school unaccompanied. Nobody worried, and it wasn't an actual threat. It would be an imagination threat.

rhhardin said...

A friend my own age, Fred Grampp, said of Mothers against Drunk Driving, if it weren't for the drunks, most of them wouldn't be mothers.

He too noticed the obscure transition of drinking-driving into a public problem from a moral failing.

rhhardin said...

Reader's Digest published an essay in the 50s describing exactly what happened to you if you crashed into a pole driving while drunk, organ by organ. A first cut at making it a public problem.

That was before airbags or even collapsable steering columns. The steering column was a major player in the event.

rhhardin said...

I would guess 1958. The whole class had to give a public speaking thing to the school as juniors and seniors in high school. One guy gave that essay as his talk both years.

I talked about flying.

alanc709 said...

Priests used to be chaste. Make of that what you will. Regarding the priest/child abuse scandals, what percentage of the children who accused priests of abuse were female?

William said...

People usually sort out their sex partners on the basis of looks, age, and status. All of these criteria are discriminatory and unChristian. This applies to both heteros and gays......I think I see a way around the problem. The Church should recruit its clergy among the ranks of the furries. I believe furries copulate based on the imagination and verve of the costume that their partner wears. The way they act out their libidos is far more Christian and humane than other forms of sexual expression. The Church is missing a sure bet by not recruiting furries.

William said...

McKellan and Ian Holm are out homosexuals. Laurence Olivier was militantly closeted. In my opinion, McKellan was the best King Lear of the three. I would have thought Olivier would have aced the role, but he was too hammy. Olivier could deliver lines with a sly malice but he didn't use that faculty in his performance. Perhaps he was too old to play Lear. The poetry in Lear's nihilism can be embraced by a younger actor, but after a certain age the nihilism is scary and it's easier to just bluster through the lines......At any rate, my study of the play leads me to believe that the quality of the performance is not dependent on whether you're out or closeted in your homosexuality. This is probably true of most other areas of human endeavor....I think its possible be to be too old to play Lear. I wouldn't want to see Kirk Douglas perform Lear.

Mark said...

"The idea of a celibate Priest is outdated and counterproductive."

Theologically it is called "a sign of contradiction" to the world. Like Jesus. Jesus the High Priest. Who was celibate and chaste (in the sense of not having a human worldly spouse nor being sexually active with same). Whom priests are called to become an outward sign of, and given the grace to do so, rather than being a slave to one's base desires as if the genitals were the center of the universe, and preferring to have a faithful monogamous spousal relationship with the Holy Bride of Christ, i.e. the Church, rather than have a conflict of faith and affection.

Don't think that being a slave to sexual desire that one must repeatedly (and vainly) seek to satiate is a virtue. Like all slavery, it is a heavy chain and keeps you from being truly free.

And by the way -- it is not imposed. The celibate priesthood is entirely voluntary. It is also a sign of eternal life in heaven, where their is no more marriage or need or desire for sexual gratification.

gg6 said...

Now it's Ian McKellen as the court jester?? Tis' a pity. But what else is new? Next....!

n.n said...

Pedophile pride. It is redundant to claim that pedophilia would not be a closeted orientation if it were normalized, but can it be reasonably tolerated? There is a minority who dream of its twilight.

Oso Negro said...

@ n.n. - Many of the arguments used to mainstream homosexuality can be used for pedophilia. And some might be compelling. What if people ARE born that way? Should we deny them Japanese child robots for sex? Why not allow anime? We have already seen the slippery slope of mainstreaming sexual deviancy in action with the "T".

n.n said...

Many of the arguments used to mainstream homosexuality can be used for pedophilia.

Yes, pedophilia is a gender attribute. The bigots (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrites) opposed to its normalization are bitter clingers, deplorable even, to a social construct that is informed by an anachronistic religious/moral philosophy and a pre-twilight faith. Progress has entailed the normalization of indoctrination and medical corruption of prepubescent boys and girls. "=" #LoveWins #JustDoIt #NoJudgment #NoLabels #YaddaYaddaYadda

Fen said...

"My guess is that abuses continue because people have jacked up sexual needs and desires"

I think it was C.S. Lewis who remarked that dispelling repressed sexuality had resulted in more sex crimes, not less.

Meade said...

"Are you sure? Maybe you didn't recognize it when it was. When I was a young child in very early 60s, we were warned in school by a visiting police officer about "men trying to give you candy" and we should never go with them or get in their cars, etc. There was never anything spelled out about what they would do to us if they got us, but we were warned to avoid these men and never go with them anywhere. I didn't know about sexual molestation, but I assumed the men would hurt or kill me. I asked my parents, but they just said there were bad men who did bad things."

Similar experience for me. And then the Indianapolis Star reported on the Sylvia Likens horror and what was left of my childhood innocence (this following the JFK murder) was forever and fully destroyed. Richard Speck was like, oh yeah, well, this again.

Jon Burack said...

Love that line: "they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused."

Is there a category of reality I've missed? That is, does simply being accused of something now make it real enough for us to ponder what caused it? It appears so. The self-validating two minute hate.

RBE said...

I lived in Indianapolis during the Sylvia Likens murder era. I was mostly shielded from the details but after watching Lee Harvey Oswald killed on live TV a few years earlier I had already lost some of my childhood innocence. But I lived without fear during my youth and was well into my twenties before I became aware of the existence and dangers of sick predatory people.

McCackie said...

These "Look at ME" wannabes need to realise, in much the same vein as Daffyd of Llanddewi Brefi couldn't, they are so lost in their invented Universe. They are totally incapable of understanding, that in general there is "complete indifference" as to their proclivities.

Danno said...

Blogger daskol said...Is it a minefield or is it the third rail? You can run a minefield and get lucky but you can't touch the third rail at all without getting zapped.

This may change when all electric power is mandated to be solar or wind-powered if a Green New Deal is enacted and our electric power is less reliable on account of inadequate alternative energy sources.