Entertainment

Netflix halts House of Cards production after harassment allegation against Kevin Spacey

House of Cards has suspended production indefinitely on its sixth and final season in the wake of allegations that star and executive producer Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on a young actor more than 30 years ago.

News comes day after companies announced Emmy-winning political drama's next season would be its last

Kevin Spacey stars in and serves as an executive producer of House of Cards, which has halted production amid a harassment allegation against the award-winning actor. (Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix/Associated Press)

House of Cards has suspended production indefinitely on its sixth and final season in the wake of allegations that star and executive producer Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on a young actor more than 30 years ago.

"MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards Season 6, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns for our cast and crew," the streaming company and producer Media Rights Capital said in a statement released Tuesday.

The news came the day after the companies announced the acclaimed, Emmy-winning political drama — one of Netflix's original hits — would end with Season 6, which recently began production and was slated to air in 2018. 

Executives had arrived at the show's Baltimore set on Monday afternoon to meet with actors and crew to ensure they "continue to feel safe and supported." Spacey was not scheduled to be on set on Monday.

Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making an unwanted sexual advance toward him in 1986, when he was a 14-year-old actor on Broadway. (Chriz Pizello/Invision/Associated Press)

In a Buzzfeed article posed on Sunday, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making an unwanted sexual advance towards him more than 30 years ago, when the former child actor was 14 and Spacey was 26. At the time, in 1986, the two were appearing in separate productions on Broadway.

Spacey responded via a Twitter statement claiming he did not recall the incident and expressing regret, but also publicly coming out as gay — which sparked an instant backlash and criticism by those accusing him of trying to divert attention from the allegation.

A spokesperson for Netflix said Monday that the decision to end the show had been made before the Buzzfeed report. The company said it was "deeply troubled" by Rapp's accusation.

Old Vic 'deeply dismayed'

  Spacey, 58, is an Oscar- and Tony-winning actor and former artistic director of the Old Vic theatre from 2004 to 2015. 
  The London theatre company said it was "deeply dismayed to hear the allegations levied against Kevin Spacey," adding that no complaints were made during his tenure there.

"Inappropriate behaviour by anyone working at The Old Vic is completely unacceptable. We aim to foster a safe and supportive environment without prejudice, harassment or bullying of any sort, at any level.… Any behaviour we become aware of which contravenes these goals will not be tolerated."

The company's statement added an email address for current or past employees interested in filing a confidential complaint. 

"We have appointed external advisers to help us deal with any information received."

The revelation has also resulted in the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences withdrawing an honour it was set to present Spacey this fall. The group said it would no longer present him with its 2017 International Emmy Founders Award, which he was slated to receive Nov. 20 in New York.

Apart from House of Cards, Spacey is also set to appear in the forthcoming Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World, scheduled for release in December.

Spacey is the latest high-profile figure from the world of arts, entertainment and media to be accused of sexual harassment and/or abuse, a wave that started after New York Times and New Yorker exposés about movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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