house of cards,” the Netflix show which once defined the subscription service, now has become a toxic property in the aftermath of the Kevin Spacey sexual assault scandal.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that Media Rights Capital (MRC), the studio which produces “House of Cards,” “has suspended Kevin Spacey while it investigates what it called ‘serious allegations’ concerning the actor’s behavior on set.” Netflix also said that it would not be involved with “House of Cards” production as long it involved Spacey. This follows an announcement [VIDEO] which Netflix made right after the scandal broke that it would be canceling production of an upcoming sixth season as well as ending any plans for a seventh season.

Last week, actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey had made an unwanted sexual advance on him during the 1980s, shocking the entertainment industry which was already reeling from the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Rapp’s accusation was quickly by followed by others alleging sexual misconduct. Spacey responded with a letter which apologized for his actions and revealed he was gay, but this only invited further anger from LGBT groups who accused him of conflating homosexuality with child molestation.

Then on Friday, CNN reported that “Spacey made the set of Netflix's ‘House of Cards’ into a ‘toxic’ work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment,” and that he had sexually assaulted a former employee. This latest news appears to have prompted Netflix and MRC’s decision to let go of Spacey.

The Effect on Netflix

While “House of Cards” was one of Netflix’s major properties and helped bring respectability to its original series content, it is clear that Netflix will be able to survive the loss of the show without any issues. Netflix’s stock dropped temporarily when news of the scandal first broke, but it has already regained all of the lost value.

“House of Cards” was already nearing the end of its life, with reviews for the ongoing season five being much more mixed compared to previous seasons. Furthermore, Netflix and MRC have avoided any negative publicity by quickly and efficiently responding to the allegations.

Failure to protect employees

However, the two movie streaming websites could still face legal ramifications for their failure to protect employees from Spacey. As Spacey was an executive producer of the show, and thus in a supervisory position, he could be seen as acting on behalf of the company. Like Harvey Weinstein, Spacey is undergoing treatment at a rehab clinic in the aftermath of his actions but is also now the subject of a police investigation.

In the meantime, Netflix will have to decide whether there will be a sixth season of “House of Cards” at all. Variety reported that 300 cast and crew members are employed by the series, and the producers do not wish to punish those people for Spacey’s actions by putting them out of work. Netflix and MRC may choose to kill off Spacey’s character Frank Underwood and make actress Robin Wright, the manipulative wife of Underwood, the new lead.