It’s been a sobering month in Hollywood as allegations of sexual assault, rape, and misconduct have rocked all levels of the film and TV industry. Famous male executives, performers, and producers have seen their careers go up in smoke following revelations by brave individuals recounting the alleged terrible things they were doing behind the scenes.
Among the accused, there are few names bigger than Kevin Spacey. The two-time Academy Award winner saw his career revived in recent years thanks to his turn as Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. However, when news broke last week that fellow actor Anthony Rapp was accusing Spacey of making unwanted sexual advances towards him when he was just 14 years old, it set off a downward trajectory that has only gotten worse in the days since.
The day after Buzzfeed published Rapp’s accusations, Spacey responded with an ill-advised apology and coming out that inadvertently drew a comparison between being gay and being a pedophile, a long-standing stereotype that the LGBTQ community has been fighting against for years. After that, Netflix announced that it was canceling House of Cards following the upcoming sixth season and even went out of their way to note that Spacey was not on the set.
At the time, the decision felt like a bit of a middle ground. The allegations are damning and Spacey made things worse with his non-apology apology. By announcing that one of their top shows would end, Netflix was admitting they understood this was a big problem, but by not canceling the show outright they also showed that were willing to coexist with the awful knowledge that their lead actor had been a sexual predator against a minor at one point in time. Something felt off and if Netflix wasn’t willing to pull the plug it seemed as though someone else would come along to make them.
The streaming service put the upcoming season on indefinite hiatus a couple days later, but there was still a sense that worse things were coming. That’s quite possibly what happened Thursday when a former production assistant on House of Cards came forward and accused Spacey of creating a “toxic work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment.” Eight different people confirmed the allegations to CNN. Those allegations include non-consensual touching and crude comments focused on young, male coworkers.
Just into @CNN: Kevin Spacey’s publicist & Creative Artists Agency (CAA) that had represented him are parting ways with the actor
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) November 3, 2017
In the wake of this latest bombshell, both Spacey’s agency and publicist announced they were dropping him. There’s no surer sign in Hollywood that you are a lost cause than when a major agency like CAA walks away from you at the drop of a hat.
Meanwhile, Media Rights Capital and Netflix, who produce House of Cards together, confirmed there was at least one investigated incident of misconduct on the set of the show. MRC took it even further by admitting to Deadline that the investigation took place way back in season one.
“During our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey. Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved.”
MRC also set up an “anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew” in the wake of the investigation.
By now, you must be thinking to yourself that it would be insane for Netflix to move forward with another season of House of Cards, or at least one that still involves Kevin Spacey. Indeed, it would be. Their latest statement says they continue to “evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production” but they have yet to take a firm stance on the matter. Given what’s happened in the last 24 hours, let alone last week, there’s really no good answer other than canceling the show outright or showing Spacey the door. For years, you could have gotten away with letting things die down and moving on, but right now it seems like those days are done. Hopefully Netflix understands that.