The Netflix series House of Cards has been cancelled following a sexual assault allegation against its lead actor Kevin Spacey.
According to Variety, the landmark Netflix original series will end after its sixth season in 2018.
In a statement, Netflix and producer Media Rights Capital said: "Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night's news concerning Kevin Spacey.
"In response to last night's revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time."
Though the decision to end the series was announced, the decision to pull the plug on the series was made several months ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the decision.
On Sunday, Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp told Buzzfeed that Spacey made a sexual advance towards him at a party in 1986, when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14.
Former House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon, who also serves as the president of the Writers Guild of America, East, called Rapp's story "deeply troubling".
In a statement, Willmon said: "During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off. That said, I take reports of such behavior seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr Rapp and I support his courage."
Following the allegation, Spacey released a statement on Twitter in which he claimed he did not remember the incident and that he was "beyond horrified" to hear of the story. Spacey also came out as gay in the statement, a move which has drawn criticism from the LGBTQ community and a number of fellow actors.
Spacey then said Rapp's story "encouraged" him to address long-simmering rumours about his sexuality. He wrote that he's had romantic relationships with both men and women in the past but is now living "as a gay man" and wanted to be honest so he could examine "my own behavior". Requests for comment went unanswered.
The two-paragraph statement - an apology in the first for a 31-year-old alleged assault and a self-outing in the second - struck many as an odd time for Spacey to address his sexuality or even an attempt to deflect blame. Worse, he seemed to make a connection between being gay and sexual abuse of minors.
"Kevin Spacey really tried to throw the entire LGBT community under a bus and call it solidarity in an effort to mask his personal failings," wrote civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson on Twitter. Actor Zachary Quinto called Spacey's outing "a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusations".
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the gay rights group GLAAD, said in a statement that the story was really about unwanted sexual advances on Rapp not Spacey's sexuality. "Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault," she said.
Rapp cited the dozens of Weinstein accusers as the reason he recounted his encounter with Spacey.
"I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me," he wrote on Twitter. Rapp, who starred on Broadway in Rent, currently stars in Star Trek: Discovery.
Many Hollywood figures came to Rapp's side, including fellow Discovery co-star Wilson Cruz and Rose McGowan, one of the leading voices against sexual harassment in Hollywood, who said of Spacey: "It's your turn to cry."
Two comedians offered withering criticism: "You do not get to 'choose' to hide under the rainbow!" Wanda Sykes, outspoken member of the LGBT community, wrote on Twitter. Billy Eichner also blasted the move: "Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out."
The sixth and now final season of House of Cards is currently in production, with the last 13 episodes set to debut in 2018.
- additional reporting AP