Netflix is pulling the plug on its flagship show House of Cards. The sixth season, due to release in 2018, will be its last.
Although the announcement comes amidst allegations of sexual misconduct against the show’s lead actor, Kevin Spacey, Netflix spokesperson Karen Barragan said that the decision had been taken months before Spacey was accused of trying to have sex with actor Antony Rapp, who was 14 at the time.
House of Cards looks at the deceit, corruption and crimes involved in the journey of American politician Frank Underwood (Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) to the White House. House of Cards has won numerous awards and is credited with making Netflix one of the key players in global television programming.
A Variety report revealed that the show’s makers are planning to create spin-offs. One concept could revolve around Douglas Stamper (Michael Kelly), who is Underwood’s loyal aide.
News of Netflix drawing the curtain on House of Cards broke within hours of Spacey apologising to Rapp, who claimed in a Buzzfeed interview that he had been sexually assaulted as a minor by Spacey in 1986. In his statement, Spacey said that he could not remember the incident, but that he was remorseful. Spacey also used the occasion to confirm rumours about his homosexuality, which did not go down well with commentators and queer rights groups.
Netflix executives said that they were “deeply troubled” by the revelations against Spacey. The show is being shot in Baltimore at the moment. “In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time,” the statement said.
The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also announced on Monday that it had rescinded the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award to Spacey in light of the allegations.