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Netflix Cancels “House of Cards” in Wake of Sexual Assault Claim

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That didn’t take long.  The Netflix drama, House of Cards will end after its upcoming sixth season.  Production has already begun on the season, which is set to premiere in 2018.  So what happened?  The series is coming to an end in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey. On Sunday, Star Trek: Discovery Star, Anthony Rapp, claimed that Spacey had sexually assaulted him at a party when Rapp was just 14 years old.  Spacey later apologized to Rapp in a statement released hours after the interview was published.  In the apology, Spacey claims he didn’t recall the incident, but is “beyond horrified” by Rapp’s story.  Also in his statement, Spacey came out to the world indicating that he was going to live the rest of his life as a gay man.  Many critics are saying that this was in an attempt to deflect attention.

Netflix released a statement on Monday which states:

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

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I am in no way defending Spacey if he did sexually assault Rapp.  Nor am I suggesting that Rapp isn’t telling the truth.  I do wonder, however, if the cancellation of the show is a bit harsh?  And is this linked to what happened with Harvey Weinstein earlier this month?  Meaning, is the industry going in the other direction with this?  Again, this isn’t in defense of Spacey or Weinstein.  For so many years, people in the industry looked the other way when it came to sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Suddenly, however, it seems like the floodgates have opened.

The fact that there are so many people coming forward with allegations of sexual assault is atrocious.  Atrocious because they happened in the first place, and atrocious because they went unheard for so many years.  How can people live that long without saying something?  I understand that if you tell someone, especially as a woman, there’s a chance no one will believe you.  And why risk your career for something like that?  Or at least that’s how people think.

What does this mean for Netflix?  If anything?  If he’s locked into season six, how will they be able to get out of it?  Could they continue the show without him?  After season five, I think the answer to that is yes, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the last season.  But Netflix has canceled the show altogether, so there won’t be a season seven – with or without Frank Underwood.  Is that a smart move?  Maybe and maybe not.  Spacey is still executive director, so even without him as a character on the show, he would still be involved and I suspect Netflix wants to distance themselves from this scandal altogether.

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