Netflix halts House of Cards production over Kevin Spacey sex assault claims

Netflix has halted production for the sixth series of hit TV show House of Cards, amid the ongoing sex assault scandal affecting lead actor Kevin Spacey.

Earlier this week, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making inappropriate sexual advances to him when he was just 14 years old. Spacey, who would’ve been aged 26 at the time, responded on Twitter with a “sincere apology” for what he called “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour”.

However, Spacey also used the tweet to announce that he was now living “as a gay man”, sparking a furore around whether or not it was appropriate to use the platform of alleged sexual assault to publicly “come out”.

As anger mounted, Netflix was quick to announce that the upcoming sixth season of House of Cards – in which Spacey plays the starring role – would be the show’s last. However, Netflix admitted that producers had actually made this decision months prior to the announcement, and had simply chosen the Spacey fiasco as an opportune time to declare the show’s close.

But Netflix and production company MCR have now gone one step further, and pledged to halt production on the sixth season indefinitely.

In a joint statement that was first sent to Deadline, the two companies said: “MCR 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.”

In a prior statement issued on Monday, the two companies had written: “Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey.”

The sixth season of House of Cards was originally expected to debut in the middle of 2018, with a season run of 13 episodes. However, it’s no longer clear whether this deadline and episode count will be met, given the seriousness of the Spacey allegations.

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