Netflix suspended production on “House of Cards” as it investigates a sexual assault allegation against the show’s lead star Kevin Spacey.
The company announced on Monday that the show’s forthcoming sixth season would be its last.
“MRC [Media Rights Capital] and Netflix have decided to suspend production on ‘House of Cards’ season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew,” Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital said in a joint statement.
“House of Cards” which premiered in 2013, was Netflix’s first original production. It became an early binge-watching favorite and proved that streaming services could contend with more traditional networks when it came to awards, racking up nine Emmy nominations in its first season.
Netflix said the decision to end the show after Season 6 was made months ago. However, the news of the show’s cancellation arrived after actor Anthony Rapp’s interview with BuzzFeed aired, in which the actor accused Kevin Spacey of having made sexual advances toward him over 30 years ago.
Rapp claimed that the then-26-year-old Spacey drunkenly put him on a bed to “seduce” him. “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually,” Rapp said of the 1986 incident when Spacey and he were both on Broadway in a revival of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Precious Sons,” respectively.
In a public statement, Kevin Spacey said:
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter; it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.”
The 13-episode Season 6 of “House of Cards” is expected to debut in mid-2018 on Netflix.