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Schofield, Spacey, and A New Puritan Meltdown

'The public pile-on on Twitter for both would imply they'd been responsible for both the Bay of Pigs attack and 9/11 combined.'

British television presenter Philip Schofield came out as gay in 2020, and in 2023 left his role on the sofa of ITV's This Morning, where he had been sitting next to Holly Willoughby for twenty years. Prior work locations had included 'The Broom Cupboard', where he had professionally partnered a glove puppet named Gordon the Gopher as his winning ways blossomed.

His brother had been jailed for child sex offences a month before his enforced defenestration; had told Schofield about it, but the latter had failed to inform the police. Following his sibling's conviction, Schofield said:

'I no longer have a brother.'

Some six months after jumping the public queue at Queen Elizabeth's funeral (a definite no-no in UK cultural norms), rumours of an affair with a 'much younger man' submerged Schofield and he quit, saying he had behaved in an 'unwise but not illegal' manner.

Kevin Spacey has been world-famous since the 1990s, specifically for roles in such films as The Usual Suspects, Seven and American Beauty. Very much the actor's actor, full of nuance and understatement, Spacey has often commented on being more interested in the method and theory behind the craft of acting than the attention that goes along with its success.

At the height of the #MeToo movement in 2017, Star Trek actor Adam Rapp accused Spacey of 'sexual battery' in the 1980s, and Spacey came out as gay on the same day - but more precisely saying he had had relationships with both men and women throughout his life. The gay community was outraged, seeing his apparent conflation of being gay with alleged abuse of a minor as being somewhat unhelpful to their cause.

Multiple allegations followed, Spacey claiming his past alcohol use left most recollections hazy at best. In 2022, a US court found him 'not liable' regarding Rapp's claims, but he still had charges facing him regarding his alleged behaviour while artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in Bristol through the 2000s.

It can be surmised from both Schofield and Spacey's comments that they had possibly not been leading their most authentic lives before their respective forced outings: quite right too, one is a TV presenter and the other an actor. They're not paid for us to witness their authentic lives. Still, Philip's apparent burning of bridges with industry colleagues – including ultimately his telly spouse Willoughby – seems to have done for him in the end, as did Spacey's apparent leading of a sexual double-life.

However, Spacey received his not liable verdict in the US, and while Schofield met his lover when he was a teenager, there is no suggestion of anything illegal having taken place. Yet, the public pile-on on Twitter for both would imply they'd been responsible for both the Bay of Pigs attack and 9/11 combined.

Woke puritanism has now stretched to journalists numerous, with the likes of Dan Wootton and public figures such as Nafir Afzal swinging their nonce-scimitars from the peak of Scafell Pike, as the market requirement for 'impact' gained by likes and eyeballs takes the place of circumspect appraisal. The supposed authenticity of figures such as Caitlin Jenner, Eddie 'Suzy' Izzard and Dylan Mulvaney is celebrated in evangelical fashion by a highly incentivised establishment, the trans lobby having inserted itself into the barrel of every lever of power its activist overlords could fineagle.

Once was a time where, despite the pain no doubt caused to their partners - who possibly suspected anyway - Spacey and Schofield would have been feted for their 'brave' decision, no matter how PR-strategised. After all, the cases of Harvey Proctor, Jonathan King and indeed Oscar Wilde have shown the ever-morphing hypocrisy of age of consent laws for males over a 150-year span – but no, whether 21 becomes 18 or 16, the public can only tolerate a certain media establishment-sanctioned gayness. Living your best life? Depends on the orientation of your echo chamber.

By Sean Bw Parker

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