Rapp has also played a major role in the #MeToo movement, after coming forward to say Kevin Spacey attempted a sexual advance on him when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. (Rapp recounted the story to The Advocate in an 2001 interview, but the magazine’s editor chose not to name Spacey at the time.)
On Twitter, Rapp stated he is “standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.” Rapp’s act inspired dozens of accusers to speak out against Spacey, who has since been removed from House of Cards and the film All the Money in the World.
“It’s one thing to be a hero on television. It’s quite another to be a hero in one’s everyday life,” says Harberts. “Anthony Rapp is just such a hero. His courage and unwavering voice have been a force for change. I’m proud to call him a colleague and friend.”
Courage is a team trait in the Discovery cast, which itself did a #TakeAKnee selfie in solidarity with those in the NFL demonstrating during the national anthem to highlight police brutality.
“We were very proud to do it,” said Rapp, while also acknowledging how the post attracted online trolls.
It’s a species Rapp engaged with before. He once responded to a nasty commenter with a note: “Just so you know, I’m a human being. Try to be a little more polite.” The troll actually apologized — both online and later at the stage door of a show in which Rapp was performing. “I thought that was really cool and brave,” said Rapp — although he still won’t engage with trolls with “crazy” feeds.
This story illustrates that even in a world that has never seemed so divided, there is hope. It’s a lesson that the actors want viewers to take away from Discovery — now renewed for its second season — which also shows a universe grappling with war and division.
“It’s really a story where you have to go through the darkness to come out back on the other side,” said Rapp. “But at its core, it still maintains this hope for a better future, a sense that the best parts of ourselves can bring about peace and harmony.”
But this better future “doesn’t just happen,” said Cruz. “It happens because within the next 200 years, we as a species decide what kind of world we want to live in. Star Trek represents that ideal. And it’s up to us to work towards it.”