UPDATED, 7:11 PM (MRC Statement added): Netflix just released a statement tonight saying that Kevin Spacey, star and executive producer of House of Cards, will no longer be involved in the series if it is to continue on the Internet network. This dramatic move for the political drama comes less than a week after Star Trek: Discovery Anthony Rapp alleged sexual misconduct toward him by Spacey more than 30 years ago.
However, singing from a different choir book for the first time since the scandal began, HoC producer Media Rights Capital 30 minutes later send out its own statement about Spacey’s status on the series. Unlike Netflix’s quite definitive statement, MRC said the star and EP “has been suspended.”
Being that Spacey has been intrinsic to the show since its conception, on both sides of the camera, the suspension move by MRC clearly is part of the legal procedure of detangling him from House of Cards.
Officially confirming what Deadline reported exclusively on October 30, Netflix tonight also said it is pulling the plug on the Spacey-starring movie Gore, which had been in post-production. Here are the full statements from Netflix and MRC:
Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.
MEDIA RIGHTS CAPITAL:
“While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of HOUSE OF CARDS, he has been suspended, effective immediately. MRC, in partnership with Netflix, will continue to evaluate a creative path forward for the program during the hiatus.”
PREVIOUSLY, 6:45 PM: Shut down earlier this week as allegations of sexual misconduct by Kevin Spacey went public, House of Cards’ future remains highly uncertain, we’ve heard.
While it is possible that the Beau Willimon created Netflix series could resume production on its sixth and now final season soon after Thanksgiving, nothing is written in stone. In fact, things are so in flux on the Media Rights Capital produced HoC that the indefinite suspension of production that started on October 31 may end up being permanent.
“We’ve really been told nothing, which leads a lot of us to think that it’s over,” a House of Cards insider told Deadline today of where things stand. House of Cards was filming the third episode of the not yet officially announced Season 6 when the plug was pulled on Halloween.
If the political drama is to go forward, the most probable route will see Spacey’s murderous and now ex-President Frank Underwood killed off on the show as no one envisions a scenario where Spacey returns to the set. The fifth season concluded with the Robin Wright portrayed former First Lady and VP Claire Underwood now America’s first female POTUS. However, while the assassination of the male Underwood occurred in the early 1990s UK version of Michael Dobbs’ books that the U.S. show is based on, that was the end of the series, not a new beginning.
A non-narrative and perhaps more important hinderance to a post-Spacey equation is that the Oscar winner has been an integral part of the show. He has been there going back to the pitch, and serves also as an executive producer on the series. If Spacey is removed from House of Cards, it is possible that he may take legal action, we’ve learned.
On Wednesday Spacey, who has reached out to some top lawyers in town, released a statement through his PR reps saying he would “seek evaluation and treatment” in the wake of the sexual abuse allegations against him first claimed by Star Trek Discovery actor Anthony Rapp on October 29.
Yesterday, as CNN exposed several new allegations from anonymous crew members, MRC revealed that at least once “incident” with Spacey occurred on the show. A complaint in 2012 saw Spacey taking what MRC described as a “training program.” Netflix said on November 2 that they only recently learned of the incident. Having parachuted execs into the Maryland-based production on October 30, MRC said on Thursday that they set up an “anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew” of the multiple Emmy nominated series.
Also on Thursday Spacey was dropped by his agency CAA and publicist Staci Wolfe. That was followed today with Scotland Yard opening an investigation into Spacey after a male actor claimed he was sexually assaulted by the now embattled Hollywood star in London back in 2008.