“House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey has been suspended from the Netflix drama amid mounting claims of sexual assault.
Producer Media Rights Capital took the action of suspending Spacey Friday evening. A source close to the production tells Variety that the move is legally necessary first step toward Spacey’s eventual termination.
Netflix, meanwhile, said Friday that it would not move forward with any version of “House of Cards” that includes Spacey — and that it would cancel the Gore Vidal biopic, “Gore,” which was set to star the two-time Oscar-winning actor.
“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey,” a spokesman for Netflix said in a statement. “We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.”
“While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of ‘House of Cards,’ he has been suspended, effective immediately,” MRC said in a statement. “MRC, in partnership with Netflix, will continue to evaluate a creative path forward for the program during the hiatus.”
Production on the sixth season of “House of Cards” was suspended Tuesday following a Buzzfeed report that accused Spacey of assaulting actor Anthony Rapp in 1986 when the “Star Trek: Discovery” actor was 14 years old.
On Thursday, Spacey was dropped by CAA and his longtime publicist, Staci Wolfe. On Friday, Scotland Yard opened an investigation into the veteran actor in response to an allegation that he sexually assaulted a male thesp in London.
As Variety exclusively reported, Netflix is mulling a “House of Cards” spinoff in an attempt to save its flagship series.
Media Rights Capitol, producer of the series, said it would “continue to evaluate a creative path forward for the program during the hiatus.”
Spacey, who is also an executive producer on “House of Cards,” is currently seeking “self-evaluation and treatment” as claims of sexual misconduct pile up.
His portrayal of Francis Underwood, a political assassin-of-sorts on “House of Cards,” earned him five Emmy nominations for Best Actor and a Golden Globes win.
Spacey has won two Academy Awards – in 1996 for best supporting actor in “The Usual Suspects” and again in 2000 for best actor in “American Beauty.”