Netflix reported a loss of $39 million last quarter — and it looks like it can thank Kevin Spacey for the bill.
The company announced the Q4 loss on Monday, citing “unexpected” costs due to “unreleased content.” Chief Financial Officer David Wells gave another hint at the source of the revenue loss, saying it was, “related to the societal reset around sexual harassment.” No one named names, but an unnamed CNN source confirmed the cause was “axed Kevin Spacey projects.”
Following reports that Spacey had sexually harassed and assaulted employees on the set of House of Cards in November, the streaming service announced it was severing ties with the actor. Production on the sixth season of the show was temporarily suspended, resuming after Netflix announced the final season would continue without its leading star.
Spacey was also slated to star in Gore, the Gore Vidal biopic they had planned with director TK. The disgraced actor also cost Imperative Entertainment $10 million, after Ridley Scott recast and reshot all of Spacey’s scenes from All the Money in the World.
But Spacey wasn’t the only accused sexual predator that could have been attributed to Netflix’s write-down for “unreleased content.” The streaming mogul also cut an upcoming Louis C.K. stand-up special after he admitted to assaulting five women. Four allegations of rape against Danny Masterson (from That 70s Show) also halted production on another Netflix Original, The Ranch. Like House of Cards, it is slated to resume filming without its lead actor.
It’s clear that, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, doing the right thing comes with an initial price tag. But a great way to avoid these kinds of costs in the future is, you know, not hiring serial predators in the first place, and creating stricter guidelines to ensure safe work environments.
Of course, monetary losses are the least of anyone’s worries when you consider the cost to victims of abuse.
And let’s be real: What Netflix has gained in making Robin Wright the new star of House of Cards’ final eight episodes is priceless.