Last month Rent & Star Trek Discovery actor Anthony Rapp revealed allegations that Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey had sexually assaulted Rapp when the latter was 14 years old. The days following, other actors came out with stories about Spacey’s history with younger actors, including during his eleven-year stint as creative director of the Old Vic. Spacey himself responded to Rapp’s allegations not by denying the event but by claiming he didn’t remember the event, saying that he owed Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” Spacey also used this time to come out as gay for some reason (though we all know why he chose now to come out).
After the allegations came to light, Spacey’s talent agency and publicist announced they were both ending their relationships with the actor, and The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences decided that in light of the allegations that it would not honor Spacey with the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award. The most notable severance of ties, at least at the time of writing, were those of streaming giant Netflix: Netflix announced that the Gore Vidal biopic, which Spacey was due to star in and had already filmed, would not now be released and that the sixth series of House of Cards would be its last, with Spacey being fired from the show.
To answer the question posed in the title briefly: yes. What Kevin Spacey has done, his actions over the years – all of which seems to be another one of Hollywood’s “open secrets” – absolutely merit the response of organisations like Netflix and the CAA talent agency. The men, the horrible abusers of this corrupt industry must be held accountable for their actions. Roman Polanksi and Woody Allen are still working today with little to no consequences to the allegations of their past, outside of filming being delayed for the former when the US government have attempted to extradite him from several European countries since 1978.
But should this be the end of House of Cards? The show had been losing steam in Season 5, with the only interesting thing being the rise of Claire Underwood to the office of the Presidency. Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood, first rose to prominence in 1987’s The Princess Bride (dir. Rob Reiner) as Buttercup, and as Jenny in 1994’s Forrest Gump (dir. Robert Zemeckis ). The ending of Season 5 even gave the show a great opportunity to write Spacey’s character out (spoilers): President Claire Underwood does not pardon her husband and, while standing in the middle of her oval office, talks directly to audience as Frank had done and says “my turn.” I cannot think of a better opportunity to write Frank Underwood (Spacey) out of the show, and continue with the reign of Claire.
Netflix could yet turnaround this decision, and continue House of Cards beyond this series without Spacey, but at this point we should at least be thankful that Hollywood has finally started holding people responsible for their alleged actions.