Acclaimed, out-gay actor Ian McKellen has raised a few eyebrows in a recent interview. While talking about the #MeToo movement, McKellen empathized with his embattled friends Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer, but stopped short of defending them against their allegations of sexual misconduct.

McKellen chatted with podcast host Ethan Davis, host of the #QueerAF podcast as part of the National Student Pride 2019 event in London. When the subject turned to sexual misconduct by Spacey & Singer, and the #MeToo movement, McKellen got direct. “Well frankly, I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something,” the actor quipped, “and me wondering whether they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten [pointing to head] you know.”

McKellen’s attitude then turned serious. “But with the couple of names you’ve mentioned, people I’ve worked with, both of them were in the closet. And hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people, if they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused.”

Related: Kevin Spacey faces teen sex assault charges in court

The admission seems to confirm that McKellen accepts the charges against his frequent X-Men collaborator Singer and his friend Spacey as true. Davis then injected that neither Singer nor Spacey has accepted that they’ve done anything wrong. McKellen then went on to address the pariah status in Hollywood for anyone accused of sexual misconduct. “Whether they should be forced to stop working,” McKellen observed, “that’s debatable. I rather think that’s up to the public. Do you want to see someone who has been accused of something that you don’t approve of again? If the answer’s no, then you won’t buy a ticket, you won’t turn on the television. But there may be others for who that’s not a consideration. And it’s difficult to be exactly black and white.”

Bryan Singer has defended himself against a story published in The Atlantic that accuses him of the sexual assault of four underage men. Spacey was accused of misconduct by Boston news reporter Heather Unruh, claiming that the actor assaulted her son Will. Unruh also asserts that Spacey provided her son with alcohol though he was underage at the time. Both Spacey and Singer have denied any wrongdoing.

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