Netflix Cuts Ties with Kevin Spacey, Topples ‘House of Cards’

The popular political drama will cease after its sixth season after troubling accusations — but the fallout continues

by Zachary Leeman | Updated 31 Oct 2017 at 6:52 AM

Netflix has pulled the plug on one of its most successful original programs, “House of Cards,” in the wake of new allegations against the program’s lead actor, Kevin Spacey.

“Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp recently recounted a troubling story to BuzzFeed News involving Spacey, dating back to 1986. But the time period doesn’t matter here: Rapp says he was invited to a party by a friend and that Spacey was there. At one point, Spacey allegedly picked up Rapp, put him on a bed and climbed on top of him in an effort to seduce him. Rapp was only 14 years old at the time.

Rapp says he then ran to the bathroom in horror and told Spacey he needed to go home. The story quickly caught fire after it was published — and Spacey responded with an apology that arguably made fans and fellow artists almost as angry as the original allegations.

Spacey said he had no memory of the event, but never denied that it happened. He also used his apology to officially come out as a gay man. Many saw this as an attempt to change the conversation and keep the focus off Rapp and the abuse he allegedly endured.

Following Spacey's statement, "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon released his own public statement. He said: "Anthony Rapp's story is deeply troubling. During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on 'House of Cards,' I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off. That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously, and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage."

Shortly after Willimon's public words, Netflix announced that "Cards" would be ending after its upcoming sixth season.

The streaming giant and Media Rights Capital, also behind the show, released a joint statement to the press regarding allegations against Spacey.

"Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night's news concerning Kevin Spacey," the companies said. "In response to last night's revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time."

The company's announcement comes at a very bad time for Spacey and is in no way a coincidence.

Netflix was already reportedly mulling an end to the series after its next season, but the company's announcement comes at a very bad time for Spacey and is in no way a coincidence.

On "Cards" Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a ruthless politician who eventually works his way to the presidency. In the show, the character is responsible for everything from bribery to blackmail to murder.

Spacey is also a producer on the series. He won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2014.

"House of Cards" was one of Netflix's signature shows. The fact that the company would be so willing to publicly part with the series — as well as release a public statement about Spacey — may actually signify a positive change for the industry. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal, more people have felt empowered to come forward with their stories of harassment and abuse, and more of the accused are losing the positions of power that had previously given them the influence and freedom to behave abusively toward others, free of consequence.

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