Net­flix pulls plug on un­der-fire ac­tor Spacey’s ‘House of Cards’

Star is ac­cused of sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing 14-year-old boy

Irish Independent - - News - Robert Men­dick

NET­FLIX last night an­nounced it was can­celling its flag­ship tele­vi­sion se­ries ‘House of Cards’ a day af­ter al­le­ga­tions that Kevin Spacey sex­u­ally ha­rassed a 14-year-old boy.

An­thony Rapp, an ac­tor, ac­cused Spacey of his­tor­i­cal sex­ual ha­rass­ment when he was 14 and the star was 26.

The Os­car-win­ning ac­tor and star of the drama se­ries was ac­cused of try­ing to se­duce Rapp by lay­ing down on top of him at a party at his apart­ment in New York in 1986.

Sev­eral sources said that the de­ci­sion to end the award-win­ning se­ries was made prior to Rapp’s claim about Spacey, but the an­nounce­ment nev­er­the­less raised eye­brows for its tim­ing.

“Me­dia Rights Cap­i­tal and Net­flix are deeply trou­bled by last night’s news con­cern­ing Kevin Spacey,” a Net­flix spokesman said.

“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.”

Spacey was widely con­demned yes­ter­day for try­ing to de­flect from the al­le­ga­tion by com­ing out as gay.

The claim by Rapp threat­ened to open the flood­gates with a se­ries of com­plaints – all un­sub­stan­ti­ated – that Spacey had ex­hib­ited preda­tory sex­ual be­hav­iour dur­ing his 12-year stint as artis­tic direc­tor of the Old Vic theatre in Lon­don.

The ac­cu­sa­tion made by Rapp (46), who at the time was a child ac­tor ap­pear­ing in a Broad­way play, has se­ri­ously dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of Spacey, best known for the Os­car-win­ning ‘Amer­i­can Beauty’ and for his role as Frank Un­der­wood in ‘House of Cards’.

Rapp, who went on to ap­pear in ‘Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery’, said of the in­ci­dent: “He [Spacey] 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. He was try­ing to se­duce me... I was aware that he was try­ing to get with me sex­u­ally.”

Spacey is­sued a re­sponse on Twit­ter in which he said he could not re­call the in­ci­dent but of­fered the “sin­cer­est apol­ogy” any­way. Spacey (58) then went on to ex­plain, seem­ingly in de­fence, that he was now com­ing out as gay, adding: “I want to deal with this hon­estly and openly and that starts with ex­am­in­ing my own be­hav­iour.”

The ex­pla­na­tion was met with con­dem­na­tion led by Stonewall, the gay rights char­ity.

A spokesman said: “Usu­ally when celebri­ties come out we’re quick to send on our con­grat­u­la­tions and to talk about the im­por­tance of role mod­els. But for Kevin Spacey to choose this par­tic­u­lar mo­ment to come out is harm­ful to the LGBT com­mu­nity. His sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion bears no rel­e­vance to the se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions he is fac­ing, and to con­flate th­ese things is ex­tremely dam­ag­ing.”

Sue Perkins, the tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter, crit­i­cised Spacey for de­cid­ing to “stay silent on your sex­u­al­ity” un­til the al­le­ga­tion against him was made.

“In do­ing so, you si­mul­ta­ne­ously un­der­value the hor­rific na­ture of the al­le­ga­tion and set back the LGBT com­mu­nity. Well done,” she said.

Rosie O’Don­nell, the Amer­i­can co­me­dian and ac­tress, likened him to Har­vey We­in­stein. She tweeted: “U don’t re­mem­ber the in­ci­dent – 30 years ago?...

“Like Har­vey we all knew about u – I hope more men come for­ward.”

Spacey said of the in­ci­dent: “I’m beyond hor­ri­fied to hear this story. I hon­estly do not re­mem­ber the en­counter.”

I want to deal with this hon­estly and openly, that starts with ex­am­in­ing my own be­hav­iour

Os­car-win­ner Kevin Spacey has apol­o­gised af­ter ac­tor An­thony Rapp (right) ac­cused him of sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing him when he was just 14 years old

Kevin Spacey (cen­tre back) poses with other stars at the Os­cars.

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