The Old Vic has released the results of its investigation into alleged misconduct by former artistic director Kevin Spacey. 20 current or former staff claim that Spacey behaved inappropriately towards them between 2004 and 2015. Spacey has declined to comment.
Of the 20 incidents, only one was reported formally or informally to management – however, that complaint was not acted on. All but two of the claims relate to incidents that took place before 2009.
“I have genuine and deep sympathy for all those who have come forward and said they were hurt in some way by my predecessor’s actions,” said current artistic director Matthew Warchus. “Everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and intimidation. The Old Vic is now actively engaged in the process of healing and the process of prevention.”
The investigation found that Spacey’s star-power – which it described as a “cult of personality” – combined with a lack of accountability, and a fear that allegations would not be taken seriously or could damage careers, led to incidents going unreported.
“These allegations have been a shock and a disturbing surprise to many of us,” continued Warchus. “It is incorrect, unfair and irresponsible to say that everybody knew. But as a result of the investigation, what we have learnt is how better to call out this behaviour in future.”
The Old Vic has issued what it calls a “new way forward” that it hopes will deal with the problems raised by the investigation. It will appoint guardians to be champions of best practice and act as a first point of contact for informal complaints; create a set of ‘OK – Not OK’ cultural expectations for those working at the theatre; and provide refocussed guidance and training for staff.