On Thursday, the streaming service and Media Rights Capital — which produces the drama series — responded to a new report from CNN in which eight current staffers on the series characterized the show’s work environment as “toxic,” contributing that state of affairs to Spacey’s behavior. Another former employee who spoke anonymously with the news network accused Spacey of sexual assault.
“When the allegations broke about Kevin Spacey on Sunday night, in conjunction with MRC, we sent a representative to set on Monday morning,” Netflix said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” MRC said in a separate statement. “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.”
The MRC statement continued: “In response to the current situation, on Tuesday of this week, MRC installed an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew. MRC will continue to thoroughly investigate all current claims and any new claims that are formally brought to our attention, and will continue to monitor our own production and practices to ensure that our cast and crew feel safe and supported.”
In the CNN story, an anonymous former production assistant said that he and Spacey were in a moving car near set when Spacey, without consent, put his hand down the production assistant’s pants.
“I was in a state of shock,” the production assistant told CNN. “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.”
Production on season six of “House of Cards” was suspended Tuesday as allegations mounted against Spacey. On Sunday, actor Anothony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him when the “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Rent” star was 14 years old.