(WATE/AP) – Production on the sixth and final season of “House of Cards” has been suspended following allegations of sexual assault against the show’s star, Kevin Spacey, according to a statement by Netflix.
“MRC 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,” the company said. The announcement comes a day after Netflix announced season six would be the final one for the political drama.
In an interview published by BuzzFeed News on Sunday, actor Anthony Rapp alleged that he was attending a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986 when an inebriated 26-year-old Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him. Rapp, then 14, was able to get away without any physical harm.
Spacey responded on Twitter by saying he doesn’t remember the alleged encounter but if he acted the way Rapp alleges, “I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
Spacey then said Rapp’s story “encouraged” him to address long-simmering rumors about his sexuality. He wrote that he’s had romantic relationships with both men and women in the past but is now living “as a gay man” and wanted to be honest so he could examine “my own behavior.” Requests for comment went unanswered Monday.
The two-paragraph statement — an apology in the first for a 31-year-old alleged assault and a self-outing in the second — struck many as an odd time for Spacey to address his sexuality or even an attempt to deflect blame. Worse, he seemed to make a connection between being gay and sexual abuse of minors.
“Kevin Spacey really tried to throw the entire LGBT community under a bus and call it solidarity in an effort to mask his personal failings,” wrote civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson on Twitter.
Actor Zachary Quinto called Spacey’s outing “a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusations.” Musician Lance Bass added on Twitter: “Being gay should never be equated with sexual assault or pedophilia. Thanks for giving the homophobes more ammo.”