In the midst of mounting sexual misconduct claims being levied against star Kevin Spacey, Netflix has announced that their hit original series House of Cards will be concluding after the sixth season, which is currently being filmed. As Fox News reports, the streaming network has faced increasing pressure to drop the ax on the drama after actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of an instance of sexual harassment. According to Rapp, the unwanted sexual encounter took place when Spacey was 26 and Rapp only 14-years-old.
While the announcement to end House of Cards has come just as its star has become embattled in a disturbing Hollywood sex scandal, at least one source close to the production of the Netflix series says that the decision to pull the plug was made months ago.
Even so, Netflix has been quick to distance itself from Kevin Spacey and his unfolding drama, which has included the star controversially coming out as gay, seemingly in an attempt to justify his alleged sexual advances towards a child. Early Monday, the streaming service claimed to be “deeply troubled” by the allegations made against Spacey and were already taking steps to ensure that their cast and crew “feel safe and supported.”
“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 allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior that have been made against Kevin Spacey come as the Hollywood film industry finds itself being taken to task for what many victims claim have been decades of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and even rape. According to accuser Anthony Rapp, his run-in with Spacey took place back in 1986. At the time, both Spacey and Rapp were Broadway actors, and neither Netflix nor House of Cards had yet been dreamed up.
Rapp alleges that Spacey invited him to his apartment for a party. At some time during the evening, Rapp says that 26-year-old Kevin Spacey “picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.” Rapp was just 14-years-old at the time of the alleged incident.
Rapp claims to have responded to the unwanted sexual advances by pushing Spacey away, running to the bathroom, and ultimately leaving the Netflix star’s residence.
For his part, Kevin Spacey is claiming to have no recollection of the unwanted sexual advances he allegedly subjected a 14-year-old child to over three decades ago. The House of Cards star did, however, apologize to Rapp for what he called “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” In his public statement which included both a “coming out” message and apology, Spacey neglected to address the issue of Rapp’s age at the time of the alleged sexual incident.
Both news of Rapp’s encounter with Spacey and the Netflix decision to cancel House of Cards after Season 6 come just weeks after Hollywood producer and mogul Harvey Weinstein saw his own personal house of cards crumble when dozens of women stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and even rape. Anthony Rapp says that he didn’t come forward to “air a grievance…but to try to shine another light on the decades of behavior that have been allowed to continue because many people, including myself, being silent.”
In the hours before it was announced that Netflix would cancel House of Cards after Season 6, several other accusations of sexual misconduct have been unofficially directed at Kevin Spacey. As Page Six reports, an ex-news anchor claims that Spacey sexually assaulted her female relative, while another person claimed on Twitter that Spacey had “groped” a “young male friend” when the pair were working together.
When asked whether or not she was aware of Kevin Spacey engaging in inappropriate behavior during his tenure as artistic director of the Old Vic, artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theatre Victoria Featherstone admitted that the House of Cards star may have given her cause for concern.
“I think that many people in the theater and in the creative industries have been aware of many stories of many people over a lot of years, and Kevin Spacey would be one of the people that people have had concerns about, yes.”
As of the time of this publication, Kevin Spacey has not publicly responded to the news that Netflix is canceling House of Cards after its sixth season. Netflix is standing by reports that the cancellation was pre-planned and unrelated to the allegations of sexual misconduct against the series’ star.
[Featured Image by Blair Raughley/Invision for Netflix/AP Images]