Netflix Cancels ‘House of Cards’ Amid Kevin Spacey’s Sexual Abuse Allegations
The Oscar winner is in serious trouble.
Netflix just killed House of Cards, its flagship series that heralded the streaming service’s move to original content.
Its sixth season, which is currently in production, will be its last. Audiences who have picked up on the series’ lagging quality will say it’s a long time coming, but the announcement has serious implications for its star, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.
Netflix made the call just as allegations of sexual impropriety and pedophilia were directed at Spacey… and after the actor abruptly “came out of the closet” in what many are saying was a cynical attempt to deflect attention from the scandal.
Nope to Kevin Spacey's statement. Nope. There's no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 30, 2017
Buzzfeed News published a report on Sunday night that alleged Spacey had sexually abused Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp 31 years ago when Rapp was just 14 years old. Spacey would have been 26 at the time.
“He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” Rapp said of being alone with Spacey at the actor’s New York apartment in 1986.
“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.”
“Then I opened the door, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go home now,'” Rapp continued.
“He followed me to the front door of the apartment, and as I opened the door to leave, he was leaning on the front door[frame]. And he was like, ‘Are you sure you wanna go?’ I said, ‘Yes, good night,’ and then I did leave.”
Spacey quickly issued an apology to Rapp for the incident he claims he “honesty [does] not remember.” He then attributed his actions to “inappropriate drunken behavior” and then announced he “chooses” to live as a gay man.
While coming out announcements are near uniformly met with praise, Spacey’s ignited quick outrage. Prominent gay figures immediately accused the actor of opportunistically using his sexuality to deflect attention from his alleged abuse.
Spacey’s botched coming out is a particularly troubling to many prominent gay figures. The actor has been dogged by rumors regarding his sexuality since the start of his career, but he’s repeatedly refused to address them… until now.
Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
In a heated 2010 interview with The Daily Beast, a journalist asked Spacey, “We gay men have always proudly claimed you as a member of our tribe, and yet you don’t proudly claim us back. Why?”
Spacey answered, “I might have lived in England for the last several years but I’m still an American citizen and I have not given up my right to privacy.”
“No one’s personal life is in the public interest,” Mr. Spacey said. “It’s gossip, bottom line. End of story.”
The irony of Spacey proudly identifying himself as a member of the gay community when he needs support, after years of refusing to do so, is not lost on critics.
To be clear this isn't about people who are closeted (for any reason), this is about someone cynically using the coming out process for PR
— David Beard (@dwbeard) October 30, 2017
Far more grave, Spacey’s deviation from addressing a pedophilia scandal to proclaiming he is a gay man, many say, conflates homosexuality with pedophilia—a prejudice the gay community has actively worked to efface.
F*** Kevin Spacey for further endangering my Lgbtq community by intentionally linking his homosexuality and coming out to his pedophilia.
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 30, 2017
Spacey cannot expect much sympathy from gay men now… or from Hollywood, which is still reeling from the fallout of the bombshell Harvey Weinstein accusations.
“Anthony Rapp’s story is deeply troubling. During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off,” House of Cards creator Beau Willimon said in a statement to PEOPLE.
“That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage.”
The set of Season 6 of House of Cards will be tense, to say the least.