Netflix has decided to cancel the political drama, House of Cards, after the sixth season airs next year on the streaming service.
Update: Netflix today (October 31) has decided to “indefinitely” suspend production on season six. It’s now unclear if House of Cards will return at all.
The announcement comes after an allegation that House of Cards star Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted a 14-year-old actor more than 30 years ago. Spacey was 26 at the time of the incident, which he does not deny, but says he can’t remember.
Netflix does not cite the allegation for the reason for the cancellation, saying the decision was made months ago. But the timing of the announcement — just hours after the actor, Anthony Rapp, made the assault charge — suggests Netflix is exceedingly nervous about producing a show with a tainted star in the lead.
While many critics have said House of Cards has lost its mojo in the last few seasons, Netflix still heavily promotes the show and appears to benefit from it staying in the lineup. (Netflix does not release individual show ratings.)
In fact, the Associated Press reported last night that Netflix is concerning several possible spin-offs for House of Cards after the sixth season concludes, and Spacey departs.
Despite Netflix’s announcement yesterday, there were calls for the service to cancel House of Cards prior to season six airing to make a stronger statement that sexual assault can never be condoned.
— Phillip Swann