8:06am PT by Kate Stanhope
'House of Cards' Creator Beau Willimon Calls Kevin Spacey Accusations "Deeply Troubling"
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon is speaking out about the recent allegations made against series star Kevin Spacey.
On Sunday, Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a pass towards him when Rapp was just 14 years old.
"Anthony Rapp’s story is deeply troubling," Willimon said Monday in a statement. "During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off. That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage."
Spacey tweeted his "sincerest apology" to Rapp shortly after the allegations were published on Buzzfeed. In his statement, in which the actor said he did not remember the incident, he also came out as a gay man.
However, Spacey's decision to come out in the same statement as his apology to Rapp has drawn criticism from many in Hollywood. GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued a terse statement Monday: "Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault. This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that."
Rapp claimed the incident with Spacey occurred in 1986 when both were starring in Broadway shows and when Spacey was 26. Rapp says he attended a party at Spacey's apartment and when the other guests had gone home for the evening, Spacey picked Rapp up, put him on his bed and laid down on top of him before he eventually left Spacey's apartment.
Spacey and Willimon worked together for four seasons of Netflix's House of Cards, when Willimon served as showrunner. He exited the series ahead of season five, which launched in May. The series, which Spacey stars in and executive produces, has not yet been renewed for a sixth season. However, filming has already begun on new episodes, as confirmed when a shooter opened fire at a Maryland office park near the political drama's soundstage.
Willimon is currently working on the Hulu space drama The First.
Spacey is the latest figure to be hit by sexual harassment allegations. Others include film producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback, The Circus co-host Mark Halperin and former Fox News mainstays Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly.
According to The Independent, Royal Court Theatre artistic director Victoria Featherstone opened up about past "concerns" about Spacey when he working in London as artistic director of the Old Vic. "I think that many people in the theater and in the creative industries have been aware of many stories of many people over a lot of years, and Kevin Spacey would be one of the people that people have had concerns about, yes," she said on Radio 4's Today show during a discussion about sexual misconduct.