Kevin Spacey Cost Netflix $39 Million Over ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Gore’
The price of doing business with predators is high. A new Netflix earnings report from the end of 2017 reveals that the streaming giant took a staggering $39 million write-down in disbanding the relationship with Hollywood abuser Kevin Spacey, both in shortening the final House of Cards season and shelving the actor’s Gore Vidal biopic.
Monday saw Netflix releasing its fourth-quarter earnings presentation, boasting of overall gains with top-tier series like The Crown and Stranger Things, and even surprise hits like Netflix’s Bright (of which CEO Reed Hastings called critics “disconnected”). The transcript also notes that “We took a $39m non-cash charge in Q4 for unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with,” albeit without specifying what that charge represents. According to Deadline, the quote refers to House of Cards and Gore; both Kevin Spacey productions either shelved or put on hiatus by the actor’s exit. Said CFO David Wells of the unexpected cost:
These types of business write-downs are an ongoing facet of [Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos]’ world in terms of producing content. We just hadn’t had one of this magnitude and related to the societal reset around sexual harassment, so it was somewhat unusual in that respect.
At the very least, House of Cards will return with an eight-episode final season placing Robin Wright as the sole lead. Gore isn’t likely to see any release, and it remains unclear if Netflix lost significant money over its canceled Louis C.K. special. The rest of Netflix’s earnings report and a banner 2017 overall should dispel any major concerns about the $39 million write-down.
Stay tuned for more on House of Cards’ final season in the meantime.
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