Netflix is calling time on hit show House of Cards at the end of its next season amid a sexual assault allegation made against its star Kevin Spacey.
The streaming service’s decision to end the US political drama – which began shooting its final season two weeks ago – comes after Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp alleged Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old.
Spacey said he was “beyond horrified” to hear Rapp’s story, but that he did not remember the incident. Spacey also used his statement to come out as gay, a move that has come under fire from LGBTQ groups. Josh River, the newly-appointed editor of Gay Times, criticised Spacey for his decision to “conflate his sexuality with his alleged behaviour.”
Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital said in a joint statement (via THR): “[We] 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.”
Beau Willimon, House of Cards creator and showrunner for its first four seasons, also released a statement, saying he “neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behaviour on set or off” during his time working with Spacey on the show, but that he took “reports of such behaviour seriously, and this is no exception”.
This comes as the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences yesterday announced that it will revoke the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award that Spacey was due to receive – a prize which annually recognises an individual whose creative work has contributed to the quality of global television production.
In a statement the organisation confirmed: “The International Academy has announced today that in light of recent events it will not honour Kevin Spacey with the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award.”
Past recipients have included Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.
The sixth and final season of House of Cards will premiere in 2018.