Netflix pulls plug on under-fire actor Spacey’s ‘House of Cards’
Star is accused of sexually harassing 14-year-old boy
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.