Netflix suspends “House of Cards” production after allegations against Kevin Spacey

Netflix is suspending production for its hit series “House of Cards” in the wake of allegations that its star actor Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward a minor years ago.

The Los Gatos-based streaming giant’s announcement Tuesday is the latest fallout since Sunday, when BuzzFeed News published allegations by “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp that Spacey had “picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance” after a party in Spacey’s apartment in 1986. Spacey was 26 at the time, and Rapp was 14, BuzzFeed reported.

Netflix and Media Rights Capital, a film and television studio which produced “House of Cards,” said Tuesday in a statement: “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.”

On Monday, the companies announced that the next season of “House of Cards” would be its last. They had decided six months ago that the sixth season, expected to be released in 2018, would be the last season, a person close to Netflix told this news organization.

“Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey,” the companies said on Monday. “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.”

“House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon wrote on Twitter Monday that he supports Rapp’s courage for speaking out.

Spacey, who did not respond to the allegations to Buzzfeed News before they were published, took to Twitter to respond afterward. He said he owed Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” Spacey also came out as gay, and the timing and circumstances of this disclosure generated a firestorm of criticism.

“Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the pro-LGBT media monitor organization GLAAD.  “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.”

Photo: People stand in line waiting to enter the Underwood 2016 booth near the Peace Center where the CBS News Republican presidential debate will occur, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. Frank Underwood is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Netflix show House of Cards. He is portrayed by Kevin Spacey. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

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