House of Cards creator Beau Willimon addresses the sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey, calling them "deeply troubling." It's been a surprising 24 hours for the cast, crew, and fans of Netflix's hit political drama, as star Spacey has been accused of absolutely horrendous behavior by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp. While Frank Underwood is quite the evil villain on Cards, it sadly looks like Spacey might be nearly as awful in real life.
According to Rapp, the incident with Spacey happened in 1986, when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was just 14. Both Rapp and Spacey were acting on Broadway at the time, and Rapp was invited to a party at Spacey's apartment. Rapp was the last guest remaining at the party, and that's when Rapp says a visibly drunk Spacey picked him up, placed him in bed, climbed on top of him, and attempted sexual advances. Rapp was fortunately able to get away before the situation escalated further.
Spacey quickly responded to the allegations last night, claiming that he did not remember the encounter with Rapp, but also not denying that it happened. Spacey offered an apology for his "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior," and also used the statement to come out as gay. This has drawn lots of fire online since, with many accusing Spacey of attempting to distract from Rapp's harrowing ordeal by turning the focus toward his own coming out. In a statement to THR, Willimon offered the following comments concerning Spacey's alleged behavior:
"Anthony Rapp’s story is deeply troubling. During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off. That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage."
While what Spacey allegedly did to Rapp is obviously the headline here, one does wonder where this will leave House of Cards. In the past, it's possible that the situation would have eventually blown over, and Spacey's career would have simply resumed as normal. In the current post-Weinstein social climate though, the odds of Rapp's story just going away are minimal, and it's likely that Netflix won't want to be associated with Spacey going forward, no matter how successful Cards has been.
The most straightforward solution to the problem for Netflix would be to simply cancel House of Cards, and not bring it back for a sixth season. Unfortunately, that would also leave the rest of the series' cast and crew out of work. Perhaps a more charitable solution would be to simply write Frank out of the story somehow, such as having him killed off-screen. This would allow Claire (Robin Wright) to become the focal character, and the series to continue on without the black cloud of Spacey's misdeeds floating overhead.