House of Cards will end after its upcoming sixth season, Netflix confirmed this afternoon per The Hollywood Reporter. While this news isn’t a huge surprise in itself—showrunner Beau Willimon already departed prior to the fifth season this year—the timing of the announcement has raised some eyebrows, coming as it does in the wake of the show’s star and producer Kevin Spacey being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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Buzzfeed last night published an allegation from actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged that a 26-year-old Spacey made a sexual advance towards him in 1986 when Rapp was 14. Spacey responded with a Twitter statement which has drawn much criticism, claiming not to remember the encounter with Rapp while publicly coming out as gay for the first time.
House of Cards creator Willimon, who was replaced as showrunner by Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese last season, issued a statement earlier today calling the allegation against Spacey “deeply troubling.” Though Willimon emphasized that he “neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off” while working with Spacey on House of Cards, “I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr. Rapp and I support his courage.”
The sixth and final season of House of Cards has been in production since the summer, and will premiere in 2018.