Sir Ian McKellen said he ‘deeply regrets’ saying closeted people are less likely to abuse people if they were out.
While appearing on the #QueerAF podcast, the iconic actor suggested that the likes of Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer – who have both been accused of multiple sexual assault allegations – would not have committed any offences if they were out about their sexuality.
But now, after facing backlash, McKellen has apologised for his comments and said his intention was to encourage the LGBTQ audience to be ‘proud and open about their sexuality’.
On a Twitter thread, the actor wrote: “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.
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
“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 trivialise or condone abuse of any kind.
“I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused.
“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.”