As allegations of sexual harassment and assault, came out against Kevin Spacey, Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital moved quickly to separate the actor from their hit series “House Of Cards.” The sixth season was put on hold, the actor was removed from the series, and now the writers are racing against a Thanksgiving deadline to reconfigure the new episodes so they don’t include Frank Underwood. However, is all of this legally sound?
According to a report from Blast (grain of salt, etc.), Spacey’s contract does not have a morality clause. Thus, he can only technically be fired from “House Of Cards” if he’s “unavailable” or “incapacitated.” Technically, he’s neither — Spacey has voluntarily stepped away to receive some kind of undisclosed “treatment.” Even more — and again, this is all rumor — Spacey’s team is alleging that Netflix and MRC sent a letter to cast and crew asking people to come forward if they were victimized by the actor (reportedly, Spacey made the set “toxic” for years), which they feel was an attempt to find a reason to fire him.
You can probably see where this is going: money. At the end of the day, if he was let go without legal cause, Spacey will likely be owed a handsome sum. If that’s the case, one can imagine that Netflix and MRC are probably already trying to figure out the dollar amount that will make the actor go away without causing a fuss. Or they might decide that canceling the show altogether is the easiest (and most economical) way forward. For now, MRC has issued the following statement regarding Spacey’s current situation — though the actor’s team apparently dispute that he’s under contract with them:
While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of HOUSE OF CARDS, he has been suspended. As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority.
As for the fate of “House Of Cards” season six, it’s likely that we’ll know next week. [via Screen Crush]