The fallout facing Kevin Spacey widened Monday following an accusation that he allegedly made sexual advances on a teen boy, with Netflix pulling the plug on his hit show House of Cards and “deeply troubled” producers of the political thriller arriving on set to comfort cast mates.
Executives from Netflix and the show’s producer, Media Rights Capital, said they arrived in Baltimore, where the show is shot, on Monday afternoon to make sure actors and crew “continue to feel safe and supported”. Spacey was not scheduled to be on set on Monday.
Though the decision to end the series was announced on Monday, the decision to end the series was made several months ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.
Spacey is the latest Hollywood man to be named in widening allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in entertainment, media and other industries. The avalanche of allegations began earlier this month after the New York Times published a story alleging that producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed numerous women.
On Monday, NBC fired political journalist Mark Halperin after multiple allegations of sexual harassment, and The New Republic said it had launched an investigation after publisher and president Hamilton Fish was accused of harassing women.
The New York Times on Monday also published new allegations against Weinstein, including the account of a woman who said Weinstein of raping her in the late 1970s and a dancer’s account of Weinstein misconduct in 2004 that led to a $100,000 settlement. Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister has said the Oscar winner denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
The Producers Guild of America also announced it had instituted a lifetime ban on Weinstein from holding membership in the organization. The move came after Weinstein, 65, resigned his membership, the group said.
“This unprecedented step is a reflection of the seriousness with which the Guild regards the numerous reports of Mr Weinstein’s decades of reprehensible conduct,” the guild said in a statement. “Sexual harassment can no longer be tolerated in our industry or within the ranks of producers guild membership.”
In an interview published by BuzzFeed News on Sunday, actor Anthony Rapp alleged that he was attending a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986 when an inebriated 26-year-old Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him. Rapp, then 14, was able to get away without any physical harm.
Spacey responded on Twitter by saying he doesn’t remember the alleged encounter but if he acted the way Rapp alleges, “I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
Spacey then said Rapp’s story “encouraged” him to address long-simmering rumors about his sexuality. He wrote that he’s had romantic relationships with both men and women in the past but is now living “as a gay man” and wanted to be honest so he could examine “my own behaviour”. Requests for comment went unanswered Monday.
The two-paragraph statement — an apology in the first for a 31-year-old alleged assault and a self-outing in the second — struck many as an odd time for Spacey to address his sexuality or even an attempt to deflect blame. Worse, he seemed to make a connection between being gay and sexual abuse of minors.