The past few weeks have been fascinatingly telling in the worlds of entertainment and technology. Starting with the revelation that Harvey Weinstein had been harassing, assaulting and/or raping women in Hollywood, the voice of victims has been heard. In the weeks since the original articles, other victims have felt strength to come forward about their own harassment, assault and rape instances.
Some of the bigger names to receive accusations include Robert Scoble, technology evangelist and venture capitalist, and Kevin Spacey, another household Hollywood name. The responses to these allegations from the accused have begun to get bizarre. Weinstein claimed that, because he came up in the 60s, the rules for workplace behavior were different. Scoble claimed that what he did wasn't harassment because the women didn't work for him. Spacey tried to play the issues off as drunken mistakes, and deflected the topic by coming out publicly as gay.
The response from the business world, however, has not been bizarre at all. In fact, in all three of these instances, companies have responded swiftly. Weinstein was fired from his own company, as was Scoble. Spacey's retribution has been even more intense, at least from a business perspective. Netflix, who had several active projects with Spacey, has decided to cut all ties with him. Production on the final season of House of Cards has been suspended, and Gore, a film produced by and starring Spacey, which was in post-production has been scrapped entirely. Netflix said in a statement,
Netflix will not be involved with any further production of 'House of Cards' that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with (production company) MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.
Obviously suspending the final season of a AAA title series is a major move, but the response seems to be resonating with customers on all sides of the cultural divide. No one can argue that cutting ties with a man accused of sexual assault against a 14-year-old boy is the right move. This is in stark contrast to the response to a similar situation with Roman Polanski in the 70s, where studios and colleagues worked to make the situation go away.
The future of House of Cards is currently unknown, but there is talk of a spin-off and an appropriate conclusion to the season which is currently on hiatus, not featuring any new work featuring Spacey.