Forget impeachment and censure, Netflix already went there, this is more like invoking the 25th Amendment. Following allegations of rape, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior towards a minor, Netflix has permanently severed ties with Kevin Spacey, essentially firing President Frank Underwood from the streaming services flagship show “House Of Cards.”
“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of ‘House of Cards’ that includes Kevin Spacey,” a spokesperson for the network said in a carefully worded statement. “We will continue to work with [Media Rights Capital] during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.”
Translation: Netflix will cancel “House Of Cards” if Kevin Spacey remains involved in the show.
MRC quickly responded, but not in unequivocal terms. “While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of ‘House of Cards,’ he has been suspended, effective immediately.”
After a growing chorus of allegations rise against Spacey, his talent agency and publicist have dropped the actor too. Allegations of Spacey’s predatory behavior have been reaching a fever pitch in the last few days. Like many accused of sexual harassment and worse in recent weeks, Brett Ratner, James Toback, Harvey Weinstein, the dams of silence are breaking once one victim comes forward.
One recent victim alleged he was sexually assaulted Spacey when he was just 15 years old. British police have opened an investigation into another alleged assault in 2008 and stories of sexual harassment and assault have risen from the set and crew of “House Of Cards” which has likely been the final straw for Netflix.
“Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” an allegedly harassed ‘HOC’ production assistant said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
Netflix had already halted production on season six of “House Of Cards” and in the wake of the scandal quickly announced, rather conveniently, that season six would be its last and that the streaming giant would be exploring potential spin-offs from the show.
Actor Anthony Rapp first made allegations against Spacey in a story published by Buzzfeed this past week. The floodgates burst soon thereafter. Rapp alleged Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was just 14 years of age. Spacey is currently seeking unspecified treatment, according to a statement his former reps released on Wednesday.
What does this all mean for “House of Cards,” a five-time Emmy nominee for outstanding drama? Well, if Netflix keeps its word, the show as you know it is essentially over and one has to assume the producers of the show are going to have to scrap season six. “Evaluating [the] path forward as it relates to the show,” as Netflix said in their statement probably means trying to work with MRC to see if there is a show without Kevin Spacey. Fans would clearly love to see a show led by the equally morally bankrupt, Machiavellian politician and VP Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, who also directs episodes of the show, but how that would play out and how “House Of Cards” suddenly gets rid of the President without further appearances feels beyond difficult.
Writer/showrunner Beau Willimon, the creator of “House Of Cards” who left the show after the end of season five must be feeling like he got out while the going was good.