Netflix has halted production of House of Cards indefinitely amid new sexual assault allegations involving the show’s star Kevin Spacey in both the UK and the US.
Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp told Buzzfeed this week that Spacey tried to molest him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26.
Spacey was heavily criticised for a subsequent statement in which he said did not remember the alleged incident but apologised for his “drunken behaviour”, before coming out as gay. Many people were furious that he appeared to conflate homosexuality with his inappropriate conduct.
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Now, further allegations of a sexual nature have emerged.
US film-maker Tony Montana told Radar Online that he was groped by the actor in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. The BBC reports that separate incidents are also alleged to have taken place in the UK between 2004 and 2015, when the two-time Oscar winner was artistic director at London’s Old Vic theatre.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik argues that Netflix had no choice but to suspend the popular political drama. In addition to being the show’s star, Spacey is also an executive producer and has final say in many production decisions.
“You don’t let someone with that kind of power in the workplace return after accusations are leveled against him that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy,” says Zurawik.
Netflix had the choice of taking a huge financial loss or being seen as an accomplice to the “oppression of patriarchy”, he adds.
Netflix announced on Tuesday that it was shutting shut down production of House of Cards. In a statement, the network said it was “deeply troubled” by the allegations and was reviewing the situation.
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