UPDATE: Netflix and "House of Cards" production studio, Media Rights Capital, issued this statement on Oct. 31: “MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.”
Hollywood's unfolding sexual harassment scandal may have started with Harvey Weinstein, but the latest card to fall is actor and producer Kevin Spacey.
In a Buzzfeed article released Sunday evening, the actor Anthony Rapp said Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1986 when Rapp was 14-years-old and Spacey was 26. On Twitter, Rapp said he was coming forward now, “standing on the shoulders of many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference.”
In response, Spacey released the following statement on Sunday night via Twitter:
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I'm beyond horrified to hear this story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.
This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.
Spacey has been criticized for his response on social media by celebrities and LGBTQ activists and organizations, including GLAAD.
When The Frame reached out to Netflix for comment, the company released this statement on behalf of itself and the show’s production company:
“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.”
Netflix also confirmed that the sixth season of “House of Cards,” which is currently in production, will be its last. That decision was apparently made months ago, and was not in response to the Spacey allegations.
The Frame's John Horn spoke with Variety's co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein about the future of "House of Cards," and other film and television projects Spacey is currently attached to, including "Gore," set to release on Netflix in 2018:
I think a lot of people who have paid attention to "House of Cards" know that critically, at least, it's been in decline. Could Netflix still decide to pull the plug on the series now and not even move forward with Season 6?
That seems unlikely. I'm not sure entirely at what exact stage in the production season six is. My guess is it's fairly early, but I think by stating that the sixth season was going to be its last, Netflix was basically saying that they felt that it was still okay to go ahead with the production as is, and then just call it quits afterwards.
There's also a couple other projects that Kevin Spacey has either completed or is about to complete. There's a Netflix film in the works called "Gore" and it's about Gore Vidal played by Kevin Spacey. It's described as: "A young man spends a summer in Italy where he meets his idol, Gore Vidal, who teaches him about life, love, and politics." It seems the future of that film is probably in question as well but I don't know how far along it is. What have you heard about "Gore?"
I think when you point out a logline like that there's obviously a very unfortunate parallel to the circumstances going on in Mr. Spacey's real life, allegedly anyway. And so it's hard to believe that this movie is going to see the light of day at Netflix — and perhaps not anywhere else either.
Spacey has two other films in the works: "All the Money in the World" directed by Ridley Scott is set for December release from Sony; there's also an independent remake of "Billionaire Boys Club" that's in post-production. What's going to happen to those films and how do they get released without the conversation being entirely about Kevin Spacey and these allegations of sexual misconduct?
That's going to be the challenge for any project that has Kevin Spacey attached. They face a very real risk that the publicity firestorm that this has ignited would completely overshadow any such production. Does that mean that these productions never see the light of day? I'm not entirely sure, but I think we will find out probably in the next 24-48 hours what's going to happen.
In light of all of these sexual harassment and assault allegations, is there anything that you think networks and production companies will start doing, perhaps through background checks? I guess it really relies on people coming forward, and sometimes that's very difficult.
I cannot imagine any human resources department at any company not experiencing what has gone on in the past few weeks and saying, Okay, how do we do our jobs in a way where we don't even have to encounter something like this? And the truth is there's probably nothing that will be foolproof. And yet I think any company would be remiss in not exploring what additional steps can be taken.
"House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon, who left the series after season 4, released his own statement on Monday via Twitter:
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. That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously, and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage.
To listen to John Horn's full interview with Andrew Wallenstein, click on the player above.