Earlier this week, Netflix first announced that the next (sixth) season of its show House of Cards would be its last (and then canceled it outright) when allegations emerged of sexual harassment by lead actor Kevin Spacey. Today, eight people who worked on the show told CNN that Spacey repeatedly sexually harassed people on set, and one said that the actor sexually assaulted him.
All eight, who had worked or currently work on House of Cards, spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions. According to them, Spacey's sexual harassment created a 'toxic' work environment across the show's run for young male crew members, which included non-consensual touching and sexually-charged comments.
Media Rights Council released a statement in response to CNN's story, claiming it was made aware of an incident in 2012 and "Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved. Mr. Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr. Spacey."
MRC said that it had installed an anonymous complaint hotline and brought on crisis counselors and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew, and that it will continue to investigate. Netflix also released a statement today in response to the CNN story that confirmed it was made aware of a "one incident, five years ago" that they were informed was resolved swiftly. But the streaming company said that they were "not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set."
Earlier this week, Netflix and MRC first took action after Star Trek Discovery's Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him when Rapp was 14. Spacey released a statement apologizing for the incident and using the opportunity to publicly come out as gay, a move that angered many including GLAAD's president. After more men came forward with allegations against Spacey Wednesday morning, his lawyer announced that the actor will seek treatment.
MRC's full statement responding to today's CNN story reads:
"We are deeply troubled to learn about these new allegations that are being made to the press concerning Kevin Spacey's interaction with members of the crew of House of Cards. As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority. We have consistently reinforced the importance of employees reporting any incident without fear of retaliation and we have investigated and taken appropriate actions following any complaints. For example, during our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey. Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved. Mr. Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr. Spacey.
In response to the current situation, on Tuesday of this week, MRC installed an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew. MRC will continue to thoroughly investigate all current claims and any new claims that are formally brought to our attention, and will continue to monitor our own production and practices to ensure that our cast and crew feel safe and supported."
Netflix's full statement reads:
"When the allegations broke about Kevin Spacey on Sunday night, in conjunction with MRC, we sent a representative to set on Monday morning. Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly. On Tuesday, in collaboration with MRC, we suspended production, knowing that Kevin Spacey wasn't scheduled to work until Wednesday. Netflix is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set. We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production, and have nothing further to share at this time."
- This article originally appeared on Engadget.