kevin spacey house of cards cancelled (Netflix)

[UPDATED] Netflix Has Suspended Production on House of Cards Indefinitely Following Allegations of Sexual Assault

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After the publication of Anthony Rapp’s Buzzfeed interview, in which he accuses Kevin Spacey of assaulting him when he was 14 years old—Kevin Spacey’s coming out  fueling of hateful, ignorant misconceptions that equate homosexuality with pedophilia, Netflix announced they would be cancelling House of Cards, which Spacey stars in as well as executive produces. It was the kind of swift, unequivocal consequence we all hope to see sexual predators face. Well, sort of.

What Netflix actually said was that they’ll be cancelling the show after season six, which, as far as I can see–as of just a week or two ago—hadn’t even been officially announced yet. Production is in the early stages and the new season reportedly began filming only two weeks ago. (A statement from Netflix and producers Media Rights Capital says that “as previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”)

So essentially, they used this announcement as an easy cancellation for a show that many fans agree has run its course over the last five seasons while also promoting that show and garnering some good wokeness publicity in the process.

It seems relevant to mention how silent Netflix executives have been on the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The only statement I’ve seen issued is chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ claim that their business with the Weinstein Company is “pretty arm’s distance.” But that’s not really accurate. The Weinstein Company has produced multiple Netflix productions, and the two companies have co-hosted Golden Globes parties together the last few years.

If Netflix wants to actually make a statement about their relationships with sexual predators, the opportunities are piling up.

UPDATE 11/1: Deadline is reporting that Netflix has now suspended production on season six of House of Cards indefinitely. A statement from the two production companies reads “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.”

This is a delicate situation because a lot of people stand to lose a lot of work if production is fully cancelled. On the other hand, if Spacey is creating a toxic environment (as there have been low-key rumors of him doing on past projects), Netflix would be complicit in allowing that to continue. And as a star and EP, Spacey would continue to take a presumably very large paycheck in the process.

They’re only two weeks into filming. Is it too late for a rewrite where Frank has died between seasons? Please, Netflix, just give the show to Claire already. As she herself said, it’s her turn!

(image: Netflix)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.