Netflix ending ‘House of Cards,’ says ‘troubled’ by Spacey allegation

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People line up outside a 'House of Cards' guerrilla marketing campaign in Greenville, South Carolina, February 12, 2016. Actor Kevin Spacey plays the role of Frank Underwood in the Netflix series. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

LOS ANGELES | Netflix Inc’s groundbreaking political drama “House of Cards” will end after its upcoming sixth season, the company said on Monday, one day after a sexual misconduct allegation emerged against star Kevin Spacey.

The streaming giant did not give an explicit reason for deciding to air just one more season of “House of Cards” before pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning, critically acclaimed show, its first original hit series.

Netflix spokeswoman Karen Barragan said the determination was made months ago, long before the allegation surfaced against Spacey, 58, who is also a Tony-winning actor and former creative director of London’s famed Old Vic theater.

Netflix also said in a statement that it was “deeply troubled” about actor Anthony Rapp’s claim that Spacey had made a sexual advance to him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.

Spacey said in a Twitter post on Sunday that he was “beyond horrified” to hear Rapp’s story of the encounter, which he said he did not remember.

He wrote that he owed Rapp a “sincere apology” for what he said would have been “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

Spacey went on to say that Rapp’s story “had encouraged me to address other things in my life.”

“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, I now choose to live life as a gay man,” wrote Spacey, who had not previously addressed his sexuality publicly.

Spacey immediately came under fire on social media for what many saw as a disingenuous conflation of an apology for sexual misconduct with a public acknowledgement of being gay.

“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “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.”

A representative for Spacey did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.