Netflix and Media Rights Capital will move forward on production of the sixth and final season of hit political drama House of Cards without its star, Kevin Spacey, after the actor was accused by multiple men of sexual misconduct last month, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced Monday.
Sarandos confirmed the critically-acclaimed drama would return in remarks he made at the UBS Media and Communications Conference in New York Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Robin Wright, who plays Spacey’s onscreen wife Claire Underwood in the series, will reportedly lead the cast for a final, abbreviated eight-episode season that is set to begin streaming on Netflix sometime next year.
The streaming giant and Media Rights Capital, which co-produce the series, had suspended the show’s Maryland production last month after numerous individuals came forward to allege sexual misconduct by Spacey over a period of years.
Actor Anthony Rapp — an original cast member of the hit Broadway show Rent and who currently stars in the CBS series Star Trek: Discovery — was the first to come out publicly against Spacey, accusing the Golden Globe-winning actor of making a sexual advance against him at a New York City afterparty in the 1980s, when Rapp was just 14 years old.
In a statement issued in response to Rapp’s allegation, Spacey offered an apology but said he did not remember the alleged incident, chalking it up to “drunken behavior.” The actor also came out as gay in the same statement, drawing criticism from some who felt he had revealed his long-rumored sexuality as a way to deflect from the allegations.
Following Rapp’s claims, more men have come forward to accuse Spacey of misconduct, including a man who claimed he was a teenager when the actor allegedly attempted to rape him. Additionally, eight House of Cards staffers accused Spacey of serial mistreatment during their time on the series.
Spacey reportedly traveled to Arizona last month to seek unspecified treatment at a rehabilitation facility.
Variety reports that the move to renew the series for a sixth and final season has at least temporarily saved the jobs of at least 370 staffers who work directly on the show and 2,000 other Baltimore-area residents whose jobs depend upon the production.
Spacey won a Golden Globe and was nominated for five Emmy Awards for his role as the manipulative Frank Underwood on the series.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum
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