Company made decision months ago but only let it be known after claims Spacey had made sexual advances towards a 14-year-old actor
Netflix is ending its Emmy-nominated political drama House of Cards at the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season amid sexual allegations against Kevin Spacey.
The final episodes of the TV series, starring Spacey and Robin Wright as ruthless political operators in the United States government, will air in 2018.
News of the ending comes less than 24 hours after Spacey responded publicly to allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances on a 14-year-old actor in 1986.
The allegations, from Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, were first aired in an interview with Buzzfeed on Monday. Spacey responded on Twitter with an apology, saying he did not remember the incident, but that if it happened he believed it would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour .
Media Rights Capital and Netflix, who produce House of Cards, released a statement on Monday in response to the allegations against Spacey, saying they were deeply troubled by the news.
In response to last nights 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.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Guardian Australia that the decision to end the show was made months earlier, and not in response to the allegations about Spacey surfacing.
House of Cards began in 2013, following husband and wife team Frank and Claire Underwood (Spacey and Wright) as they manipulated and murdered their way up the political ladder to the Oval Office. The show was nominated for 33 Emmy awards and eight Golden Globe awards, with Spacey and Wright winning best actor and actress Golden Globes for their performances.
The show received favourable reviews for its first two seasons, but the response to recent seasons has been mixed.
Social media response to the news has resulted in calls for the show to continue but with Wright as the sole lead.
Would I watch a house of cards with just Claire Underwood?
Yes I’d actually prefer it pic.twitter.com/enTQOM6lYQ
House of Cards creator and showrunner for its first four seasons, Beau Willimon, also released a statement on Monday via Twitter, saying he neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behaviour on set or off during his time working with Spacey on the show, but that he took reports of such behaviour seriously, and this is no exception.
My statement regarding Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey: pic.twitter.com/8z6zotHWE5