Kevin Spacey has compared media interest in his sexuality to anti-gay bullying.
The actor has fiercely protected his private life and has denied that he is gay for years.
Speaking to interviewer Kevin Sessums for the Daily Beast website, Spacey equated the interest in his personal life to the bullying suffered by gay teenagers who attempt suicide.
Sessums said: “We gay men have always proudly claimed you as a member of our tribe, and yet you don’t proudly claim us back. Why?”
In response, Spacey said: “Look, I might have lived in England for the last several years but I’m still an American citizen and I have not given up my right to privacy.”
After Sessums argued that heterosexuality was not considered private, the actor continued: “I think what we have seen in terms of gay teenagers committing suicide because of bullying is anguishing. I think young people, if they are feeling like they are confused, need to know that there are people to talk to and that there are places they can go and not feel alone.
“But I feel that they have just as many rights as I do to not be bullied. And I don’t understand people who say, ‘Well, this is a terrible thing that is happening to this young person whose life is being exposed,’ and then turn around and do it to another person.
“People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box. It’s just a line I’ve never crossed and never will.”
Sessums responded that he did not consider the line of questioning to be bullying and asked whether the actor would make an ‘It Gets Better’ video.
Spacey said: “Yeah. Absolutely. I’d do one of those. But why is it in this country that kids might think it’s okay to bully and make fun of somebody?
“I’ll tell you why, because what do they see in the media happening all the time? In the media they seem to think that’s okay. So if we stop using sexuality as a weapon against people maybe everyone will eventually get cool with it.”