Netflix cancels ‘House of Cards’ as Kevin Spacey faces molestation allegation

House of cards
Less than 24 hours after Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp accused House of Cards star Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old, Netflix has canceled the award-winning political drama.

Netflix announced the decision in the aftermath of Rapp’s accusation and Spacey’s public apology regarding the incident, and indicated that the upcoming sixth season of House of Cards will be the show’s final season. The streaming service issued a public statement on the matter Monday, October 30.

“Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey,” reads the statement (via Deadline). “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.”

Rapp’s allegations initially surfaced in a Buzzfeed feature published Sunday, October 29. The Discovery actor described being approached by Spacey after a 1986 party at the latter actor’s apartment in New York City. Then 14 years old, Rapp had a featured role in a Broadway revival of Precious Sons, while a 26-year-old Spacey was starring in a revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The cast of the two productions were mingling at the party, and Rapp accused Spacey of drunkenly approaching him later that night.

“He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” recalled Rapp. “But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”

A few hours after Rapp’s accusation was published, Spacey posted a public apology on Twitter.

Saying he was “horrified” by the story, Spacey wrote that if he did indeed do what Rapp describes — which he does not remember — he owes Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” Spacey said the story also encouraged him to announce that he planned to “now live as a gay man” while dealing with this issue “honestly and openly” and examining his behavior.

Spacey’s apology quickly drew harsh criticism, with some suggesting that his decision to go public as a gay man was intended to draw focus away from Rapp’s age at the time of the alleged incident. Criticism also focused on the timing of Spacey’s announcement, which could lead to a perceived connection between homosexuality and sexual assault involving minors.

“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” wrote Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive officer of GLAAD, in a public response to Spacey’s announcement. “This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”

As for Rapp, his only public statement following Spacey’s apology was made on Twitter, in which he cited the “many courageous women and men who have been speaking out,” citing the recent allegations of sexual assault and harassment that have been made against various figures around Hollywood in recent weeks — many of them focused on movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

It’s unknown how many of Spacey’s other projects are likely to be affected by the accusations, but Deadline reports that his upcoming biopic of author Gore Vidal for Netflix could also be canceled.

House of Cards is currently in production on the show’s sixth season, with a premiere date still unannounced. The show is expected to return in mid-2018 for what is now its final, 13-episode arc.

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