Netflix to end ‘House of Cards’ amid Kevin Spacey sexual assault claims
PHOENIX — The streaming service Netflix announced it is ending the hit show “House of Cards,” one day after allegations surfaced that the show’s star, Kevin Spacey, sexually assaulted an underage boy in 1986.
Netflix and the producer of “House of Cards” said they are “deeply troubled” by the allegation of sexual abuse leveled against Spacey.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, the streaming service and series’ producer Media Rights Capital said it was indefinitely suspending production of the show “to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.”
Production is underway in Baltimore, Maryland, for the show’s sixth season, which Netflix said Monday will be its last.
Spacey was not at work on the set as previously scheduled, according to the statement.
In the joint statement, the executives said they traveled to the set to ensure that the cast and crew feel “safe and supported.”
The announcement came on the heels of a Buzzfeed report, in which actor Anthony Rapp claimed that Spacey tried to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was a young teenager.
“In 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance,” the article claimed.
“According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.”
In a statement, Spacey apologized for any “drunken” misbehavior and also came out as gay.
Spacey’s statement of regret kicked up a backlash, prompting many to question the timing and accusing the actor of trying to change the subject.
The two-paragraph statement — an apology in the first and a self-outing in the second — struck many as an odd time for Spacey to address his sexual orientation. Some gay rights activists said he also seemed to make a connection between being gay and sexual abuse of minors.
Many Hollywood figures have also reacted with anger to Spacey’s statement.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Spacey, but your application to join the gay community at this time has been denied,” wrote “Savage Love” writer and “It Gets Better” creator Dan Savage on Twitter.
Rose McGowan, a leading voice against sexual harassment in Hollywood, said of Spacey: “It’s your turn to cry.” Actor Zachary Quinto called it a “calculated manipulation.”
Former “House of Cards” showrunner Beau Willimon said he never saw inappropriate behavior by Spacey but called Rapp’s allegation “deeply troubling.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.