4:46pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'House of Cards' Producer to Investigate New Kevin Spacey On-Set Harassment Claims
Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital are responding to new allegations of sexual harassment made against Kevin Spacey.
In a CNN report Thursday, multiple employees of the Netflix series accused the star and executive producer of inappropriate behavior. One production assistant claimed that Spacey put his hands down the assistant's pants without consent while he was driving Spacey to the set. He then alleged that Spacey cornered him and touched him inappropriately.
Another crewmember on the political drama said Spacey "would put his hands on me in weird ways," including massaging his shoulders and touching his stomach. Six other employees from the show talked with CNN about their experiences with the actor.
In a statement, MRC responded to the latest allegations and confirmed a previous allegation of sexual harassment by Spacey in 2012.
“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," the company said.
"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," the statement continued. "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 company also said that it has set up an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew in the wake of the accusations made. "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," the company added.
Netflix also issued a new statement Thursday regarding the latest claims made against Spacey: “When the allegations broke about Kevin Spacey on Sunday night, in conjunction with MRC, we sent a representative to set on Monday morning. 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.”
The accusations follow those made by Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged in a Oct. 29 BuzzFeed News article that Spacey made sexual advances towards him in 1986 when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14. Spacey tweeted a statement offering his "sincerest apology" to Rapp but said he did not remember the incident. In the statement, he also came out as gay, a move which was criticized by many in Hollywood as well as GLAAD.
On Monday, Netflix and MRC confirmed the upcoming sixth season of the series, which had already started production, would be its last. (Media Rights Capital is co-owned by Eldridge Industries, which also owns The Hollywood Reporter.)
In a joint statement, the companies said they were "deeply troubled" by the accusations. Executives from both companies traveled to the Maryland set to discuss the situation with cast and crew to ensure their safety. On Tuesday, Netflix and MRC suspended production on the series indefinitely.
On Wednesday, Spacey's rep said he is "taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment" in the wake of the allegations.