Production on the final season of House of Cards has been suspended indefinitely following the underage sex assault claims against star Kevin Spacey.
‘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,’ producer Media Rights Capital said in a joint statement Tuesday.
The move comes just two days after Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp revealed that Spacey attempted to sexually assault him in 1986, when Rapp was just 14.
Spacey, who was aged 26 at the time, claims he does not remember the alleged attempted assault but issued a public apology which he also used to come out as gay. The move has since been criticized as a cynical way of trying to deflect from the allegations.
Less than 24 hours later, Netflix announced it was cancelling ‘House of Cards’ after its sixth season – which is currently in production. Today they issued the statement revealing that production would stop while they reviewed the current situation.
End of the road: Netflix has revealed that the upcoming sixth season of ‘House of Cards,’ which is in production now, will be its last (Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards above)
Anthony Rapp, 46, is seen for the first time since his allegations against Spacey were made public
On Monday, Netflix and MRC issued a statement saying they were ‘deeply troubled’ by the allegations and executives from both companies met with the cast and crew of the political drama ‘to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported,’ the statement continued.
Spacey was not on set at the time, as was previously scheduled.
The show’s creator Beau Willimon also weighed in, saying: ‘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.’
He went on to state: ‘That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage.’
There is also a chance that Spacey’s character was never meant to be in the sixth season, with his character’s health an issue throughout the five previous seasons of the show and the actor currently in the middle of shooting a Gore Vidal bio pic.
Spacey, 58, is now being compared to Harvey Weinstein by members of Hollywood’s LGBTQ community, who view his sudden openness about his sexuality as nothing more than a ‘calculated manipulation.’
Rosie O’Donnell, who is never one to hide her feelings, went right for the jugular in her response, writing: ‘u don’t remember the incident – 30 years ago? – f*** u kevin – like Harvey we all knew about u – I hope more men come forward.’
La Vie Boheme: Rapp (above with Idina Menzel in the 2005 film version of ‘Rent’) shot to fame as a member of the original Broadway cast
When someone asked O’Donnell is she know of any more Hollywood predators like Spacey and Weinstein, she responded: ‘of creepy men in Hollywood? white guys in positions of power? ummm there r too many.’
She later clarified her claim that everyone knew as well, stating: ‘no one knew it was kids except for the ones he abused most abusers have many many victims.’
Wanda Sykes tweeted: ‘No no no no no! You do not get to ‘choose’ to hide under the rainbow! Kick rocks!’
Zachary Quinto meanwhile took a more thoughtful approach, and eviscerated the two time-Oscar winner in a searing indictment of his behavior through the years in which he accused the actor of remaining in the closet for his own benefit.
‘It is deeply sad and troubling that this is how Kevin Spacey has chosen to come out,’ wrote Quinto, who produced the 2011 film ‘Margin Call’ which starred Spacey.
‘Not by standing up as a point of pride – in the light of all his many awards and accomplishments thus inspiring tens of thousands of struggling LGBTQ kids around the world – but as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempt to molest one.’
He continued: ‘I am sorry to hear of Anthony Rapp’s experience and subsequent suffering. And I am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he though it would serve him — just as his denial served him for so many years.
‘May Anthony Rapp’s voice be the one which is amplified here. Victim’s voices are the ones that deserve to be heard.’
‘Star Trek’ star George Takei also went after Spacey’s statement, and his conflating of this alleged assault and his sexuality.
‘When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong,’ said Takei.
No love lost: ‘I am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he though it would serve him — just as his denial served him for so many years,’ said Quinto (above with Spacey at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival)
‘For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way.’
He then explained: ‘Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.’
The incident that spurred this all allegedly took place at Spacey’s apartment in 1986 when the actor invited Rapp to a party while they were both appearing on Broadway.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Rapp said that he found himself alone in the apartment at the end of the night and that Spacey then began to make his move.
‘He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me,’ said Rapp, who detailed being pressed up against the bed before being able to squirm away and ultimately leave the house without being assaulted by Spacey.
The victim: ‘May Anthony Rapp’s voice be the one which is amplified here. Victim’s voices are the ones that deserve to be heard,’ wrote Quinto in his statement (above)
At the time, Spacey was just at the start of his illustrious professional career, having been selected by Jack Lemmon personally to star alongside him in the Broadway run of Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night.’
That same year, he also scored his first big screen role with a cameo in the Nora Ephron comedy ‘Heartburn.’
His brief part was that of a subway thief, whose failed attempt to steal the purse of the film’s leading lady, played by Meryl Streep, is one of the more memorable parts of the movie.
He would go on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for ‘The Usual Suspects’ and the Best Actor trophy in 2000 for ‘American Beauty.’
There was talk of Spacey possibly scoring another nomination this year as well for his work in the beloved summer hit ‘Baby Driver’ or the upcoming Getty biopic ‘All the Money In the World.’
Spacey issued a statement soon after the Buzzfeed story was published on Sunday, which began with his claim that he did not recall this incident.
‘But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,’ wrote Spacey.
‘This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.’
He then went on to state: ‘I now choose to live as a gay man.’
This was a shocking statement from Spacey, who in 2010 said that being forced to reveal his sexuality was akin to being a bullied teen in an interview with The Daily Beast.
‘I think what we have seen in terms of gay teenagers committing suicide because of bullying is anguishing. I think young people, if they are feeling like they are confused, need to know that there are people to talk to and that there are places they can go and not feel alone,’ said Spacey.
‘But I feel that they have just as many rights as I do to not be bullied. And I don’t understand people who say, ‘Well, this is a terrible thing that is happening to this young person whose life is being exposed,’ and then turn around and do it to another person. People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box.’
He then closed out his response by sating: ‘It’s just a line I’ve never crossed and never will.’
Boy: Rapp in 1986 at the age of 14 (top left), when the alleged incident occurred at Spacey’s apartment
Man: Spacey was making his big screen debut in 1986 in the Nora Ephron film ‘Heartburn’ (above) opposite Meryl Streep
That move caused a fast and furious backlash, with writer and actor Billy Eichner one of the first to respond, writing: ‘That Kevin Spacey statement. Nope. Absolutely not. Nope.’
He then tried to find a small bit of humor in the situation, by adding: ‘Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.’
That move then caused Eichner a bit of guilt, leading him to tweet: ‘But honestly I hesitate to make jokes because the Spacey statement is truly disgusting, irresponsible and dangerous. Ok goodnight!’
Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell wrote: ‘ I just had a morning meeting with my fellow gays and we cannot accept your application, Mr. Spacey. Please move along, bish.’
Others, like ‘Modern Family’ star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, showed their love for Rapp rather than go after Spacey.
‘Anthony Rapp, you have always been one of my role models amongst the LGBTQ community. I am proud to know you. So much [love] for you,’ wrote Ferguson on Twitter.
Rapp meanwhile said after the publication of his story: ‘I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.
‘Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.’