UPDATE (November 3): Deadline reports Spacey has been dropped by his talent agency, CAA, and his longtime publicist Staci Wolfe.
According to eight members of the “House of Cards” crew, who spoke anonymously to CNN, Kevin Spacey allegedly sexually harassed young men who worked on the Netflix show. The most serious charge comes from a former production assistant who shared a harrowing story of having been sexually assaulted by the show’s star/executive producer.
For Netflix and the show’s production company Media Rights Capital (MRC), the most damaging accusation may be that Spacey’s “predatory” behavior – including nonconsensual touching, crude comments, and “play fights” in which Spacey forced crew members to touch his crotch – often happened in open space for all to see, creating what was described as a “toxic” work environment.
One former camera assistant told CNN that “everybody saw” and “commented on” Spacey’s inappropriate touching of crew members, but that formal complaints were not made for fear of reprisal.
One former production assistant said he did tell his supervisor that he was being sexually harassed by Spacey. That supervisor’s solution was for the PA to never to be left alone with Spacey. Months later, the PA told CNN that when he was sent to drive to an offsite location to pick up Spacey, the star actor sexually assaulted him by sticking his hand down the PA’s pants while the two were driving back to set alone. Later, after helping Spacey move his belongings to his trailer on set, the former PA claimed that Spacey blocked his exit from the trailer and made inappropriate contact with him.
“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” the former production assistant told CNN. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
Since Buzzfeed reported five days ago that actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making sexual advances toward him in 1985, when Rapp was only 14 years old, three more men have come forward to say they were sexually harassed by Spacey. A now-48-year-old anonymous artist told Vulture that when he was 14 years old, he was in a sexual relationship with Spacey that ended with an attempted rape.
MRC and Netflix – having already suspended production on the sixth season of “House of Cards” on Tuesday – issued separate statements last night in response to CNN’s report. Both repeated the companies’ commitment to a safe work environment, though MRC did acknowledge having received a complaint about Spacey during the first year of the show’s production (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,” MRC said in a 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.”
In a separate statement, Netflix made clear the company was not aware of the previous reported incident.
“Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly,” Netflix said in a statement. “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.”
MRC has announced it has set up an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew. IndieWire has learned that while “House of Cards” is on hiatus, MRC is continuing to pay the entire crew.
Earlier today, Kevin Spacey’s representative confirmed the actor was seeking “evaluation” and “treatment” following the accusations made against him.