Facing pressure over allegations that Kevin Spacey forced himself on an underage actor in 1986, Netflix has announced that is is ending one of its most popular series, House of Cards, in 2018.
Spacey, who stars as President Frank Underwood in the acclaimed series, has been accused of making unwanted advances on Anthony Rapp, who at the time was 14 years old. In announcing the series’ end after six seasons, Netflix has avoided pressure to either cancel House of Cards or have Spacey fired.
The show’s seemingly quick unraveling came less than a day after a Sunday Buzzfeed article outlined Rapp’s claims that a drunken Spacey tried to seduce the then-child actor in 1986. “It started to occur to me: What am I supposed to do if I ever work with him?” Rapp said in the report. “What am I supposed to do? What do I do?!”
In response to the report, Spacey apologized for his “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” and said he was “beyond horrified” in a posting to his Twitter account.
On Monday, reactions to the allegations and Spacey’s response came from across an industry roiled by allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures. House of Cards creator Beau Willimon called the Buzzfeed report ‘deeply troubling,’ while others including actor Zachary Quinto, expressing disappointment in how Spacey, a notoriously private actor, decided to finally come out as openly gay.
Netflix, however, stayed quiet until the afternoon, when the company ultimately announced that the show would conclude after its sixth season, set to be released mid-2018. Work on the season had begun earlier this month, reports The Baltimore Sun. The streaming video company and Media Rights Capital, House of Cards production company, issued a statement saying they were “deeply troubled” by the allegations.
House of Cards originally premiered in 2013 and has ushered in an era of streaming television, giving the rise to new Hollywood heavyweights like Netflix and Amazon. Its first season garnered nine Emmy nominations, the first streaming series to receive such acclaim. In 2015, Spacey won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Actor for his portrayal of Underwood.