Netflix Suspends Production for Final ‘House of Cards’ Season Amid Spacey Fallout

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Kevin Spacey at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Kevin Spacey’s past is haunting Frank Underwood’s future, spurring Netflix to indefinitely suspend production for season six of the political thriller series “House of Cards” here in Maryland.

Outlets report Media Rights Capital and Netflix, the production firm and network behind the show, respectively, informed cast and crew members this morning that they’d be stopping filming. The news came one day after Netflix announced the sixth season of “House of Cards” would be its last.

“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 companies said in a joint statement.

The situation is that Spacey, the star and executive producer of the drama, is confronting sexual assault allegations from earlier on in his career. Actor Anthony Rapp (of “Rent” and “Stark Trek: Discovery” fame) told BuzzFeed in a story that ran Sunday that Spacey made a coercive sexual advance toward him in 1986. Rapp was 14 years old at the time, Spacey 26.

Spacey issued a statement yesterday that accepted blame, calling it “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” though he said he did not remember it happening.

Deadline reports at least two others have since stepped forward with allegations, with one woman saying he “groped [her] young male friend” at a theater where Spacey worked as artistic director.

Spacey’s manager, Evan Lowenstein, purchased a home in the Inner Harbor’s Harborview community earlier this year for $5.65 million. Spacey was at first rumored to be the buyer; as Zillow and The New York Times have noted, it’s not uncommon for managers and agents to purchase properties for their famous clients.

Production for season six of the show had been taking place in the Baltimore area for about two weeks, CNN reported, citing a Maryland Department of Commerce spokesperson. Joppa and Baltimore have served as filming locations for the show throughout its five seasons.

Production was rumored to have been interrupted two weeks ago during the horrific mass shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood that claimed three employees’ lives and wounded two others, according to Deadline. The show’s producers later clarified that filming was “not impacted,” even though the set was only about a mile away from the site of the shooting.

Maryland will take a hit if Netflix ultimately decides to cancel the show outright. According to the Department of Commerce, the first four seasons generated an economic impact of more than $460 million, with an average of 2,154 Marylanders hired per season. The show also rented or bought goods or services from an average of 2,228 businesses per season.

“Filming the show in Maryland benefits the state in so many ways —from creating jobs for Maryland’s talented crew and acting base, to generating revenue for Maryland businesses, to stimulating tourism and spotlighting our unique and diverse locations,” said Maryland Film Office Director Jack Gerbes in May. “House of Cards’ success is Maryland’s success.”

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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