Netflix is set to end its political drama series “House of Cards” with the upcoming sixth season which began production in Maryland this month and is set to premiere in 2018.
The announcement arrives in the immediate wake of sexual assault allegations against its star Kevin Spacey. “Star Trek: Discovery” star Anthony Rapp alleges that Spacey had sexually assaulted him at a party in 1986 when he was 14. Spacey apologized to Rapp in a statement released hours later, saying he was “beyond horrified” by Rapp’s story and that he did not recall the incident.
Spacey was also criticized Monday by GLAAD and gay activists for coming out in his statement in a way that, intentional or not, appeared to deflect attention from Rapp’s accusation. Netflix and producer Media Rights Capital on Monday released a statement on Spacey, saying:
“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.”
Additionally former showrunner Beau Willimon, who ran the series for four seasons before stepping aside for Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, issued the following statement:
“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.”
THR adds that this was always going to be the final season of the show even before allegations against Spacey were made public. While Netflix has yet to issue an official statement about the allegations, the timing of the announcement seems like a pretty clear statement in and of itself considering Netflix execs remained largely silent during the Harvey Weinstein scandal earlier this month (Weinstein & Netflix collaborated on projects).