In a guest column for Variety, Lance Bass shares his own experiences of being sexually harassed by men and women in Hollywood. Bass, an openly gay man, writes that he “grew up in the entertainment business and I’ve experienced my share of unwanted advances from both men and women who saw me as a target.” The singer and former American Idol judge joined ’N Sync as a teen, and though he doesn’t call out anyone specifically, he does condemn the system that enables predators.
The experiences left me shaking and confused each time. I hated being put into that position, but I was too afraid to say anything. First because I was not out, and second because I didn’t want to affect the jobs of the hundreds of people who depended on me working. The people who perpetrate these horrible acts know this. They rely on it. For my young mind, the stakes were overwhelming and silence seemed to be the only option. So I remained silent.
Bass also appears to respond to Kevin Spacey’s calculated coming-out, which he seems to have done in order to distract from Anthony Rapp’s allegations of sexual assault. Spacey has been criticized by the LGBTQ community for conflating pedophilia with homosexuality by attempting to excuse his actions—namely, picking up a 14-year-old Rapp and placing him on his bed—by chalking them up to something he’s still coming to terms with. Not to mention that Spacey claimed he was choosing to live as a gay man at this point in his life. Bass writes, “Recent statements in the press have irresponsibly conflated predatory behavior with homosexuality, and blurring that line is simply dangerous. Loving who you love isn’t a choice; abuse on the other hand is.”