Netflix announced this afternoon that the next season of House of Cards, the hit series built around Kevin Spacey as the power-hungry politician Frank Underwood, will be the final one.
The announcement comes the day after BuzzFeed reported that the actor Anthony Rapp said that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14. After refusing to respond to BuzzFeed’s reporter, Spacey eventually put out a statement in which he claimed not to remember the incident, apologized to Rapp “if I did behave as he described,” and officially came out as gay.
“I want to deal with this honestly and openly, and that starts with examining my own behavior,” Spacey wrote.
Although Rapp is the first person to go on the record saying that Spacey committed sexual misconduct, other stories of misbehavior have followed Spacey for years. In March of 2015, Gawker reported on claims about Spacey’s sexual aggressiveness toward younger men, including those who staffed the set of House of Cards.
After Gawker published that article, the site continued to hear from people who had heard about or witnessed the same behavior.
On October 26, Jezebel wrote to Netflix to ask if the company had ever investigated the claims in the 2015 post, or if it had received any complaints of its own. A spokesperson wrote back that “This is the first I hear of it” and agreed to look into it.
The next day, the spokesperson called to say that Netflix had no plans to put out a statement, because the company has no involvement in on-set production of the TV shows it distributes. She said that managers for the main House of Cards production company, Media Rights Capital, told her that they had never heard of any complaints about Spacey’s behavior.
Variety reported this morning that Beau Willimon, the creator of House of Cards, has issued a statement calling Rapp’s story “troubling” and saying “I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off.”
Netflix referred us to Media Rights Capital’s spokesperson, who said this morning that the company is “very, very intolerant” of misbehavior and that she would look into the same allegations. This afternoon, Netflix and Media Rights Capital released a joint statement:
Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey. 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.
If you know any more about Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of House of Cards, please get in touch.