By Joe Harker
All The Money In The World is an film scheduled for release on December 22, seeking to tell the true story of the kidnapping and ransom of billionaire J. Paul Getty's grandson.
Kevin Spacey had originally been cast as Getty, but due to the allegations against him he has been fired. Director Ridley Scott has brought in Canadian actor Christopher Plummer and they will attempt to re-shoot all of Spacey's scenes and release the film on the original intended date.
Scott has been praised for his decision. Entertainment site Jezebel outlined four typical responses to such a situation, suggesting that studios could ignore the issue like nothing has happened, publicly stand by the actor, run away from the problem, or take swift and decisive action to remove the actor and replace them. They praise Scott for taking the final option and encourage others working in the film industry to follow suit with other accused stars. They do also point out the more pragmatic reasons a person might take such action, with the allegations against Spacey potentially leading to a boycott of his projects that could have made the film a bomb.
Some have discussed whether "trust the art, not the artist" should be in effect with Spacey's work. The idea that the work a person does can be viewed separately from their actions is not a new one, but it could be argued that this gives talented individuals a free pass. Writing in The Observer, Patrick McKelvey argues that trusting the art ignores part of the reason why the artist can commit awful deeds. A person can gain fame and status from their work, which can then grant them protection from their deeds. By trusting the art and accepting that part of a person regardless of other factors, it helps create and reinforce the culture that allows abusers to get away with it for so long.
By attempting to deliver his film on time and without Spacey, Scott appears to be setting himself an impossible task. However, he told Vanity Fair that he shot the whole movie in 43 days which would make it less than ridiculous that he could get the scenes re shot and put into the film.
Spacey has not been arrested and he has not yet been charged with a crime, but he appears to have accepted that he committed some of the acts he has been accused of. He has said that he is seeking "evaluation and treatment" for his behaviour, though it remains to be seen whether he will end up answering to a court of law.