Kevin Spacey Probe Finds 20 Testimonies of "Alleged Inappropriate Behavior"
The Old Vic says that the "cult of personality" around the actor and his stardom and status may have prevented people from feeling they could "speak up or raise a hand for help."
London's The Old Vic theater has concluded an investigation into its former artistic director Kevin Spacey, following a series of sexual harassment allegations against the actor.
In a report released Thursday, it said that it found "allegations of a range of inappropriate behavior relating to Kevin Spacey" during his tenure, with "20 personal testimonies" being part of the probe.
"This investigation concluded that there have been 20 personal allegations of incidents relating to The Old Vic ranging from 1995 to 2013, with the majority [all but two] falling before 2009," the theater said. It added that its trustees had been unaware of the allegations and none were made by people who had been minors at the time.
Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic from 2004 until 2015. The investigation, overseen by law firm Lewis Silkin, found that 16 staff members and four other people came forward with a number of allegations against Spacey.
The report also stated that in all but one case, the individuals alleging inappropriate behavior by Spacey did not come forward at the time or asked that no formal action be taken. It claimed that the "cult of personality" around the actor and his stardom and status may have prevented people, particularly junior staff or young actors, from feeling they could "speak up or raise a hand for help."
From Thursday, The Old Vic also committed to "a new way forward that will build on existing practices and procedures to ensure that the theater fulfills its duty of care to all who work with the organization."
It said: "Since his appointment in 2014, [artistic director] Matthew Warchus has already created a different, open, inclusive environment at The Old Vic, and the way forward will build on this positive, supportive and nurturing approach. We have a significantly more robust and effective workplace now than ever before, but there is always more to be done and lessons to learn from."
Among other things, it will appoint "guardians" from across the board and the wider organization to "champion best practices and be a first point of contact for those who don't want to reach out through formal channels" and "spend time with those who work here to create an 'OK / Not OK' set of cultural expectations for all to understand and own, setting out in basic terms behaviors we feel comfortable with and those with which we do not."
The Old Vic also said it will provide "refocused guidance and training and opportunities for checks and feedback at all times."