GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By CAROL LI
Netflix is now net-flicking “House of Cards” off their streaming list.
On Nov. 3rd, Netflix announced that it was cutting ties with actor Kevin Spacey because sexual harassment accusations. Spacey allegedly made sexual advantages toward actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. As a result of Rapp stepping forward, eight former and current employees of House of Cards announced to the public that Spacey had sexually harassed them as well. Netflix also stated that they “will not be involved with any production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey.”
This not only hinders Spacey’s career development, but puts a part of responsibility to Netflix because it had endorsed Spacey’s show by listing it. Although Netflix may have faced a debacle from this scandal, its immediate reaction to the situation will be beneficial towards the company.
To start off, Netflix will benefit from the removal of House of Cards because the show is near its end. Users will not be as invested in the show compared to other ongoing shows, such as Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and The Crown. These shows became instantly popular and hooked viewers from the start. Because these numerous shows are capturing the attention of viewers, the investment in House of Cards is already slowly decaying.
Furthermore, Netflix took advantage of the show while it was listed by using House of Cards as a trampoline. When first putting it up, the show transformed Netflix into a dominant global company for the TV business. Because of its optimal state, Netflix will no longer be affected by the show’s absence.
To elaborate, the show was Netflix’s first breakout hit. House of Cards helped Netflix expand, and the company currently has one hundred and four million paid streaming subscribers. As a result, not enlisting House of Cards does not have a great impact on Netflix. Due to the huge amount of people paying for Netflix, this means a greater variety of genre and show preferences.
In addition, by removing the show, Netflix separates itself from becoming intertwined with the rightful consequences given to Spacey. For instance, Netflix has decided not to release Spacey’s upcoming movie Gore because it starred Spacey and was in post production.
To add on, the buildup of victims encourages Spacey to be perceived in a negative manner.
For example, after issuing an apology, Spacey also came out as a member of the LGBTQ community. He was strongly criticized by the public, and many thought that he only came out to divert attention from the serious accusations.
This is another example of why Netflix is justified in cutting ties with Spacey. If they did not take action in the removal of Spacey, it would seem as if Netflix condones his actions.
Moreover, by taking action, Netflix is setting an example for other businesses that come in contact with these horrendous situations. There have been similar cases, such as one involving producer Harvey Weinstein, so it is obvious Spacey was not the first actor to be in this situation. Netflix is setting a precedent for other businesses to follow in the future.
In addition, the victims that were assaulted by Spacey finally have their own voice to speak up. Speaking out is difficult, especially against a highly influential man. However, by informing the public, Netflix gives support to victims by releasing Spacey.
Although the show House of Cards no longer affected the viewership and popularity of Netflix, having Kevin Spacey was an advantage to the company because he was featured in many movies. However, Netflix releasing Spacey creates a better image for Netflix, because it informs the public that Netflix is not okay with employing people who make poor decisions.
Consequently, by acknowledging Spacey’s actions, Netflix has already taken a big step in benefitting their company by excluding itself from the Kevin Spacey situation.