In September 2017, I happened to be sitting at a table in front of Kevin Spacey and his Gore cast members and production crew at a hotel in Ravello, Italy. It was jovial chat, coffee mugs were clinking against fine china, the Italian sun beaming onto the croissants in front of us. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary but, unbeknown to anyone in that restaurant, mere weeks later one of the world’s most lauded actors would be brought to his knees as fellow actor Anthony Rapp would go public with a detailed account of how Spacey allegedly sexually assaulted him as a teenager.
For Netflix, they had a difficult decision. They were funding the Gore Vidal biopic and also streaming House Of Cards and would stand to lose of a lot of money if they pulled the projects. Still, ethics prevailed with the streaming giant firing Spacey from his show and cancelling Gore all together.
According to Bloomberg, the shake-ups cost Netflix US $39 million (AUD $48 million). Spacey, well, he was never seen again. And we’re guessing if he were, he’d too get a drink in his face just like Harvey Weinstein who was game enough to dine out in a restaurant recently. It is sad to think of the rest of the people at that table though, an entire project gone. “The industry is looking for ways to avoid such costs in the future, asking talent to include clauses in their contracts pledging to behave themselves and buying insurance to cover damages in these situations,” reports Bloomberg.
The scandal affected others in the industry too, notably All The Money In The World‘s executive producers who had to spare an extra US $10 million to re-shoot Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer. The film is currently at Australian cinemas.