Netflix has announced that it has suspended production on House of Cards following sexual assault allegations levelled at Kevin Spacey.
House Of Cards premiered in 2013 and its fifth season was released in May. The show stars Spacey in the lead role as President Frank Underwood. Spacey also serves as an executive producer.
Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct towards Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14. Following the allegations, it was reported yesterday that season six of House Of Cards will be the show’s last. Now Netflix has announced that it has suspended production on the show. Season six had been in production in Maryland and a 13-episode season was expected to air on Netflix in mid-2018.
A joint statement from Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital reads: “MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew”.
Yesterday, Netflix and MRC issued a statement saying they were “deeply troubled” by the allegations and that executives were meeting “to ensure that [cast and crew] continue to feel safe and supported”.
Anthony Rapp, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment before the incident occurred in his bedroom at the end of the night. Rapp, who is currently starring in Star Trek Discovery, told BuzzFeed News: “He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. 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. He was trying to seduce me… I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.” Rapp when on to say that he went to the bathroom before immediately leaving Spacey’s apartment.
Responding to the allegation, Spacey said that he does not recall the incident, and that he is “sorry for the feelings [Rapp] describes having carried with him all these years”. He also addressed “stories” about his personal life, and confirmed that he now “lives as a gay man”.
“If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey wrote. “This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.” He added: “I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”
Spacey’s response has since been criticised by LGBTQ organisations, with some campaigners arguing that his coming out is an attempt to “deflect” from the allegations.