Kevin Spacey’s “house of cards” seems to have come crashing down. Ever since the first sexual harassment allegation against Spacey, by actor Anthony Rapp, emerged on 31 October, every day there are more accounts corroborating the claims of alleged sexual misconduct against the Academy Award winning actor.
The latest addition to this list of accusations comes from employees of his successful Netflix show, House of Cards. Earlier this week, the streaming service suspended the show for an indefinite time owing to accusations against the actor, who also happens to be one of the executive producers of the multiple Emmy Award winning show.
A CNN report says eight people (on condition of anonymity) from the show have accused Spacey of sexual harassment and assault, on the sets. They called Spacey’s behaviour “predatory” and said that it included passing “crude comments”, “non-consensual touching”. Spacey reportedly targetted “typically young males” from the production team, as per these allegations.
One of the production assistants from the show told CNN that he was once sexually assaulted in the car by the actor, when he was required to pick up Spacey and bring him to the Netflix show’s set. He claims, during the journey Spacey (who was driving) put his hands down the assistant’s pants without his consent.
The assistant said, “I was in a state of shock. He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”
He further adds, “I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position. It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors,” reports CNN.
Another crew member says it was typical of Spacey, on sets, to touch guys inappropriately. He claims he was routinely harassed by Spacey when he would come and massage him from behind and touch him in ways that were unacceptable in a professional space. “That’s the worst part about this whole thing. I would love to be able to speak out about this kind of stuff and not fear,” he tells CNN.
In the wake of these accusations coming from the crew members, Netflix issued a statement to CNN saying:
“Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly. On Tuesday, in collaboration with MRC, we suspended production, knowing that Kevin Spacey wasn’t scheduled to work until Wednesday. Netflix is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on set. We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production, and have nothing further to share at this time.”
Media Rights Capital (MRC), the production company which handles the Netflix show House of Cards, told CNN in a statement:
“We are deeply troubled to learn about these new allegations that are being made to the press concerning Kevin Spacey’s interaction with members of the crew of House of Cards. As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority. We have consistently reinforced the importance of employees reporting any incident without fear of retaliation and we have investigated and taken appropriate actions following any complaints. For example, during our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey. Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved. Mr Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr Spacey.”