UPDATED with Netflix statement: As allegations of unwanted sexual advances in 1986 by Kevin Spacey against then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp have emerged, Netflix today decided to pull the plug on the Spacey-starring House of Cards after the upcoming sixth season next year.
Coming just more than 12 hours after Star Trek Discovery star Rapp first made public his allegations of what happened at a party at Spacey’s New York City apartment back in the mid-1980s, the streaming service made the official decision today, sources tell us. While Netflix and producers Media Rights Capital were leaning towards ending the show a while ago, key cast and creatives were only alerted this morning in a series of calls.
“Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey,” the companies said in a joint statement today. “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.”
We have also heard that Netflix’s Spacey-starring film Gore about the acerbic author Gore Vidal may be on the chopping block now too. The Reed Hastings-run streaming service has stayed officially silent on the sexual advance claims. No word yet if the NYPD is looking into the Rapp claims that allegedly occurred in its jurisdiction.
Late Sunday, Rapp claimed that then-26-year-old Spacey drunkenly put the teen on a bed to “seduce” him. “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually,” Rapp said last night of the 1986 incident when Spacey and he were both on Broadway in a revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Precious Sons, respectively.
Shortly afterwards Sunday, Spacey issued a statement on social media saying he “did not remember the encounter” but added he was “horrified” by what Rapp described. “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey said.
The Oscar-winning Spacey also used the occasion to announce publicly that chose now to “to live as a gay man,” a move that drew harsh rebukes swiftly online and otherwise. As for Rapp, the actor said on Twitter after Spacey’s apology and announcement that he had “no further comment …at this time.”
As the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and sexual assault scandal continues to grow, the claims against Spacey also come as the Emmy-nominated House of Cards is currently in production in Maryland on its sixth season.
In what has been a career-defining and critically praised role, Spacey plays the manipulative and murderous now ex-President Francis Underwood in the Netflix series. Season 5 of the show ended with Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood now in the Oval Office as America’s first female POTUS as Spacey’s Underwood resigned in disgrace.
Having truly launched Netflix’s original programming explosion in 2013, the David Fincher-EP’d House of Cards was created by Beau Willimon based on the 1990 BBC series from Michael Dobbs’ novel.
The 13-episode Season 6 of House of Cards is expected to debut in mid-2018 on Netflix.