Following a week of intense backlash, Ian McKellen has apologized for remarks he made at the end of February regarding the allegations of abuse surrounding director Bryan Singer and actor Kevin Spacey.
In a statement posted Friday night (east coast time) via Twitter, the Lord of the Rings actor and equal rights activist walked back statements he made on #QueerAF, an intersectional queer podcast from National Student Pride, that implied Singer and Spacey became abusers as a result of their closeted homosexuality.
McKellen, notably a gay man himself, addressed the specifics of his controversial statements, saying that he expressed his intended point “clumsily.”
“As part of an extended podcast recently, I suggested that if closeted people were instead open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others,” the statement reads.
“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 trivialise or condone abuse of any kind. I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused.”
McKellen did not address the specifics of his contentious claim that whether or not an entertainment professional should be blacklisted for claims of abuse was a “debatable” issue.
Similarly, McKellen did not address a disturbing joke he made regarding his own personal history during the interview.
“Frankly, I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something,” McKellen noted. “And me wondering if they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten.”
You can listen to the entirety of McKellen’s original remarks in his #QueerAF interview, found here.