Netflix has halted work on “House of Cards” for the moment, following allegations that star Kevin Spacey made aggressive, unwanted advances on actor Anthony Rapp, who was then a teenager, more than 30 years ago. Network officials said in an earlier statement they found the report deeply troubling, that they were meeting with cast and crew to make sure everyone felt safe and supported, and noted that Spacey was not on set at the time.
A more recent statement released to outlets including Deadline said they’re pushing pause “to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.” The show had been filming its sixth and final season.
Spacey, who would have been 26 at the time of the reported incident, did not deny the allegations that Rapp, a star of the “Star Trek: Discovery” series and Broadway and film versions of “Rent,” detailed in an interview with BuzzFeed News. Instead Spacey’s statement, posted via his official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts said he was sorry for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” if Rapp’s version of events are indeed accurate.
Spacey also used the opportunity to announce that after having relationships with both men and women over the years, he’s decided to “choose now to live as a gay man.” Critics found his statement tone deaf and offensive, saying it appeared to conflate sexual orientation and a proclivity toward the sort of behavior Rapp accuses Spacey of.
“he somehow tried to mix the idea (of) pedophilia and homosexuality as if they had anything to do with each other, and that’s a very dangerous route to go down,” actress Susan Sarandon told Access Hollywood during an interview to discuss Atlanta-filmed “Bad Moms Christmas,” which is out on Wednesday. “It’s not true, and to even divert attention away from the story by coming out, which wasn’t that big news anyway, honestly. I think that’s a very dangerous place to go. It’s not right.”
Lots of commentary has been pouring in via social media.
“Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out, actor Billy Eichner tweeted.
“American Idol” alum Clay Aiken let Spacey have it, too: “Hey Kevin Spacey you can choose to act like a pervert; you can’t ‘choose to be gay,” he posted with a “face palm” emoji.
Author and commentator Eric Schiffer, CEO of ReputationManagementConsultants.com wasn’t too impressed with Spacey’s statement but doesn’t think the scandal will end his career.
“In Hollywood backlots, where many lionize Roman Polansky despite deranged and disgusting acts against a 14-year-old child, Kevin Spacey’s allegation won’t cause most producers to be out for his scalp nor incinerate Spacey’s film and TV stardom,” he said. “Make no mistake: Hollywood’s passion is selling stars.”