Kevin Spacey hosted the 71st Annual Tony Awards on Sunday night.
He used the opening number to make several jokes about the rumors that have surrounded his sexuality for years.
Throughout the performance, which contained homages to the four shows nominated for Best Musical, Kevin made multiple references to being in the closet.
The first joke happened when Whoopi Goldberg’s appearance started with her emerging from a closet in a bedroom scene. Kevin asked Whoopi ‘How long have you been in the closet?’ to which she replies ‘Well Kevin, depends on who you ask’.
Next, when previous Tony’s host Billy Crystal joins Kevin on stage, Billy says ‘if all else fails, put on a dress’.
Following on from that comment, Kevin takes to the stage dressed as Norma Desmond (Glenn Close’s character in Sunset Boulevard character) and starts to sing ‘I’m coming out’ before pausing and correcting himself by saying ‘No, wait, no…’
Viewers took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the jokes, labeling it as ‘distasteful’.
— FREEYONCÉ (@kevinrfree) June 12, 2017
how many kevin spacey coming out jokes are we gonna get tonight. because we’re already somehow at two
— robbie!!!!! (@robhdawson) June 12, 2017
Seriously, Kevin Spacey, stop with the smarmy “coming out” quips … unless you’re really doing it. #TonyAwards2017
— therealSnicks (@therealSnicks) June 12, 2017
I was not here 4 Kevin Spacey & his coming out “jokes” at the Tony’s. It’s 2017. People r being thrown off buildings. Say u r gay or leave.
— Matthew Risch (@MatthewRisch_) June 14, 2017
The #TonyAwards is essentially a 3 hour coming out speech by Kevin Spacey but he will never actually say it
— Robert Guenette (@robertguenette) June 12, 2017