Out British actor Sir Ian McKellen has criticized Kevin Spacey's decision to remain closeted during most of his acting career.

The 78-year-old McKellen, who first spoke publicly about his sexuality during an interview with the BBC in 1988, is best known for playing Gandalf in the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films. Spacey (House of Cards) was the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London for roughly a decade ending in 2015.

In October, Spacey came out gay in response to accusations of sexual misconduct from Anthony Rapp (Star Trek: Discovery). Since Rapp came forward, at least 14 men have revealed their “me too” stories.

During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today, McKellen was asked whether Spacey should be allowed to work again following the allegations.

“You're asking me if I believe in redemption? Yes, I believe in redemption. Of course,” McKellen replied.

“I wouldn't like to comment on that case because there have been many accusations but they're not really been gone into or understood. The one thing I would say about Mr. Spacey is that he was a gay man and he was pretending not to be.”

“I always thought it a bit distasteful that such a person could come to our country – where the National Theatre at the time was being run by a gay man, and the Royal Shakespeare by another – that we should have a closeted gay man at the center of British theater,” he added.

McKellen worked alongside Spacey during Spacey's tenure at the Old Vic theater.