Representation matters: Kevin Spacey to play pedophile, detective

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Exiled actor Kevin Spacey is set to return to screens as a pedophile detective in an untitled film by Italian filmmaker, Franco Gallo, and I, for one, could not be happier. Not just at the opportunity to witness another tour de force performance from one of our finest thespians, but for this long awaited representation win.

 As a long time advocate for on-screen representation, (I often remind my son Humphrey, whenever he laments his “lame”, “boomer” father, I was “woke” before there was even a word for it) I am well aware that I risk cancellation by voicing my opinion on this matter, however I can stay silent no longer.  Indeed it was I alone who dared to criticize such beloved darlings as 12 Years A Slave, Moonlight, and Judas and the Black Messiah, for their casting of Chiwetel Ejifor, Naomie Harris and Daniel Kaluuya, African Brits masquerading as African Americans.

For too long PITYs (People Inclined Towards Youngsters) have seen their stories portrayed by SAAAs (Same Age Attracted Actors) who see an easy route towards awards success, in the process doing untold damage towards a vulnerable minority. Next time you watch Spotlight, Doubt, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, please take a moment to ask yourself, could this role have gone to an actor in the pedophile community instead?

This is why Kevin Spacey’s casting as Detective Richard G. Roper is such a landmark representational moment. Adapted from the bestselling novel series, Detective Roper uses his uncanny ability to get inside a criminal’s head, catching pedophiles by understanding how they think. Roper is a significant character in the canon of pedophile literature, as for a demographic most frequently portrayed as “deviant” at best or “criminal” at worst, he created the new archetype known as “The Virtuous Pedophile”.

Spacey has already shown his commitment to this role of a lifetime, with a Roperesque level of commitment, beginning his preparations for the role by being accused of sexual assault thirty years before the project was announced and indeed twenty years before the first Roper novel was even published! 

“I don’t know about the role of a lifetime but its certainly the role of my lifetime,” demurely deflected Spacey at a sparsely attended press conference in Naples, Italy. “Dick G. Roper is such a great role, such an incredible opportunity, I feel a great kinship with Dick, it’s almost like you could say there have been forces outside our understanding pulling me towards him all my life. Certainly, I think that’s what was compelling me when I committed all those crimes I am alleged to have committed. Going back to the gladiators and the days of Ancient Rome… the painting Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme…great art has always been born out of great pain, both my own and that of my alleged victims and I think that’s it’s a complexity and a nuance which they understand a lot better in Europe,” mused Spacey.

“Who cares if he fucks kids? He’s a star!” enthused director Franco Gallo who also outlined his plans to spin the film off into a cinematic universe, along with a Hollywood remake. 

In talks to helm the reboot is disgraced director Bryan Singer, who stressed that diversity is just as important behind the camera as in front of it: “As a young pedophile filmmaker, I didn’t have very many positive role models and that’s something that needs to change.”

Whatever the future holds for Spacey and Richard Roper, the impact of this casting cannot be understated. Untitled Pedophile Detective Project is not just a film. It’s a statement. A call to arms. And boycott all you want bigoted America, but my son Humphrey and I intend to be there opening night to support Mr Spacey and show that Love is Love.

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