‘House of Cards’ Star Robin Wright: Washington Is More Corrupt Than Hollywood

Robin Wright claims that Washington D.C. is more corrupt even than Hollywood, which is saying something, given the hedonism of Tinseltown.

On House of Cards, Wright portrays Claire Underwood, the scheming ice-queen wife of power-hungry vice president Francis “Frank” Underwood on the Netflix Emmy-winning original series. As with last year’s Season 1, Netflix released the entire Season 2 in one batch, undoubtedly prompting much binge viewing.

Robin Wright’s performance in the political drama earned her a Golden Globe award.

Although there is plenty of public malfeasance in the nation’s capitol, Wright’s comment particularly related to personal corruption, i.e., promiscuous behavior by Washington elitists. In an interview, she disclosed that a senior Obama administration official acknowledged to her that reporters sleep with sources and members of Congress. Said Wright:

Oh yeah… DC is more corrupt than Hollywood. It really is. It’s more sleazy than Hollywood… how much infidelity goes on.”

As depicted in Season 1 for example, fictional Washington Herald reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) slept with then-Congressman Frank Underwood, and in Season 2 [spoiler alert], lobbyist Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) sleeps with Congresswoman Jacqueline Sharp (Molly Parker). There are other Season 2 sexual encounters that are perhaps better left unsaid.

That same official claimed the show has a high degree of accuracy generally. With that in mind, Wright asked the interviewer, “Tell me what is implausible in the evil scheming of Francis Underwood.”

In separate comments about the show’s plausibility or not, showrunner Beau Willimon, who has worked on high-profile political campaigns, described House of Cards as “realistic,” and Spacey himself maintained that the plot threads “aren’t that crazy.”

Politico writer Dylan Byers has written that the follow-up installment of House of Cards jumped the shark, however, and the acclaim it has received exemplifies the bubble that politicians and journalists operate in. “The second season of Netflix’s House of Cards is a pretty big letdown. The storylines are preposterous. The principal characters are flat and cliched. The efforts at narrative transgression, either violent or sexual, are pathetic and unconvincing. One question I’ll ask: Would Washington’s political and media insiders love House of Cards as much as they do if the story were set anywhere else, and covered a different industry? It’s doubtful…Sorry to be a wet blanket, but Washington’s collective celebration of House of Cards seems like a dereliction of our journalistic duty to be critical.”

FNC’s The Five weigh in on Robin Wright’s comment that D.C. is more sleazy than Hollywood:


House of Cards is actually filmed in the Maryland cities of Baltimore and Annapolis, but perhaps not for much longer. In a letter sent to the governor, the production company is threatening to leave Maryland unless it gets additional tax credits beyond what it has already received from the state government, i.e., the taxpayer. “In recent years, Maryland has spent more than $40 million to reward movie and television production companies that choose to film in the state, and most of that largesse has gone to House of Cards.” State lawmakers are divided over whether to boost the tax incentives to keep the filming in Maryland.

Although Robin Wright’s remarks focus on sordid D.C. personal behavior, do you think that the political industry is more or less corrupt than the movie industry?

[Image via cinemafestival / Shutterstock.com]