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The Old Vic apologizes for not creating safe environment around Kevin Spacey

The Old Vic apologizes for not creating safe environment around Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey at an Old Vic event

The Old Vic theatre completed its investigation into Kevin Spacey’s tenure as Artistic Director between 2004 and 2015.

It resulted in ’20 personal testimonies shared of alleged inappropriate behaviour carried out by [Kevin] Spacey’.

They published a press release regarding the investigation, findings, and moving forward today (16 November).

Ultimately, the theatre apologized ‘for not creating an environment or culture where people felt able to speak freely’.

The investigation

The Old Vic hired an external law firm, Lewis Silkin, to conduct the investigation.

Among the 20 allegations, all but two occurred before 2009. The incidents were not formally reported and the Old Vic’s investigation determined it may have partly had to do with Spacey’s status.

‘The investigation found that his stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help,’ the statement relayed.

Furthermore, the press release importantly states: ‘It has also not been possible to verify any of these allegations, and it is important to note that Kevin Spacey has not commented on them. The review cannot therefore make any findings of fact about the alleged misconduct.’

Moving on

The press release also details how the theatre plans to move on.

More specifically, it lists three actions the organization will undertake to create a safer and more secure working environment.

The first is appointing ‘Guardians’ from within the organization to be a first point of contact for those uncomfortable reaching out through formal channels.

The second action is creating an ‘OK — Not OK set of cultural expectations’ for employees.

Finally, The Old Vic will also provide new ‘refocused guidance and training’ as well as opportunities for feedback.

Their victim support counseling service will also remain open 24 hours a day for the next year.

‘Engaged in the process of healing’

‘I have genuine and deep sympathy for all those who have come forward,’ said Matthew Warchus. ‘and said they were hurt in some way by my predecessor’s actions.’

The Old Vic appointed Warchus Artistic Director in 2014.

‘Everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and intimidation. The Old Vic is now actively engaged in the process of healing and the process of prevention.’

He further said it is ‘unfair’ to say everybody knew, but now The Old Vic can better call out behavior like this in the future.

‘These findings will help not only The Old Vic but our industry as a whole, as together we rapidly evolve an intelligent new standard of protection and support in and around the workplace,’ Warchus concluded.

‘We are committed to a new way forward.’