Certain governments, including the Nazi regime in Germany, are known to charge the families of prisoners executed by firing squad for the cost of the bullets used to end the lives of the condemned. This is known as the “bullet fee.”
Kevin Spacey was ordered to pay $31 million to producer MRC after being fired from the popular Netflix series. house of cards in early November 2017 in the midst of the first wave of the #MeToo witch hunt.
Spacey was fired, and the sixth (and final) season of house of cards abbreviated, based on unsubstantiated or anonymous claims of alleged sexual harassment. The actor has not been convicted of any crime, and the only case that has made it to court so far, in Massachusetts, fell apart ignominiously in 2019. He recently traveled to the UK to contest various allegations of sexual misconduct.
Arbitrator Bruce Friedman awarded the $31 million award against Spacey in October 2020 and it was confirmed last week by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana.
In essence, the producers, along with Netflix, reacted hysterically to the allegations in 2017, terrified that they would be seen as “soft” for sexual misconduct in the prevailing witch-hunt atmosphere. Having wrongfully gotten rid of Spacey and thereby ruining his own show (the final season of house of cards without the actor it was virtually unwatchable), the producers are now demanding that they be paid for their own deplorable and thoughtless conduct. And the legal system, most recently in the form of Judge Recana’s opinion affirming the multi-million dollar prize, has vindicated its position.
On October 29, 2017, actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey had made sexual advances on him in 1986, 31 years earlier, when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. Two days later, MRC and Netflix announced that they would suspend production of house of cards, who had started shooting, and was investigating the claims. On November 2, CNN published an article containing anonymous accusations that the actor had sexually harassed and even sexually assaulted without a name. house of cards crew members.
After the CNN article appeared, MRC released a statement stating that it was only aware of one incident involving Spacey, in the first season of house of cardsthat the production company stated that it had been “quickly resolved to the satisfaction of all involved” and that it “has been made aware of no other complaints involving Mr. Spacey.”
However, Netflix, now desperately scared, decided to force MRC to go ahead with Season 6 without Spacey. In an email sent just hours after the CNN article appeared, Netflix head Ted Sarandos explained this: “Let’s announce tomorrow that there is NO scenario where Kevin Spacey will appear in any version of a final season of the show. ”.
In other words, before any investigation into the anonymous allegations against Spacey, and before Netflix and MRC identified the accusers, the actor was fired from the series.
MRC then proceeded to sue Spacey on the grounds that his alleged sexual misconduct had caused Season 6 of house of cards to be shortened from 13 episodes to eight and were entitled to more than $30 million in damages.
The 2020 arbitrator’s finding is sealed, but on November 22, 2021, Spacey’s attorneys responded to an MRC petition requesting that the arbitration award be confirmed. The document is worth citing, especially since the US media has largely ignored Spacey’s legal arguments.
The actor’s legal team stated that the arbitration award was “permeated with errors of fact and law.” More fundamentally, the lawyers argued, the arbitrator erred in finding “that MRC proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Spacey sexually harassed five former HOCs.” [House of Cards] crew members.” According to the November 2021 document, “while Spacey participated in a pervasive on-set culture that was filled with sexual innuendos, jokes, and innocent antics, he never sexually harassed anyone.” As the referee apparently acknowledged in his decision, “the few times Spacey was told that his conduct made someone uncomfortable or that he was unwanted in any way, he stopped.” The arbitrator found the only allegation that Spacey “ever attempted to engaging in any type of sexual activity with a member of the HOC crew was not credible.”
In fact, the attorneys continued, “the Arbitrator stopped short of finding that Spacey actually ‘sexually harassed’ anyone, but rather emphasized that HOC’s harassment policy could be violated even if the conduct in question did not rise to the level of sexual harassment. under state or Federal law.” In other words, as has happened on college campuses, the bar for what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior on television has been lowered to accommodate the demands of identity political forces.
Such rulings, which essentially punish people and potentially destroy their careers, where no violation of the law has allegedly occurred, set a dangerous precedent. Why should the powers of Netflix and producers stop at the limits of sexual misconduct? How soon will it be before an artist is fired for “lack of patriotism” regarding the war campaign against Russia and China? Such alleged sympathy for the “enemy” is not illegal, but it certainly could violate Netflix or some other studio policy. A new McCarthyism looms on the horizon, or even closer.
There is more. Friedman, the referee, ruled that Spacey breached his contract by engaging in the alleged conduct on set. He also ruled that MRC lost some $30 million in profits as a result of the shorter season Netflix forced on producers. However, as Spacey’s attorneys point out, the timeline demonstrates that the “two finds are completely unconnected.” The referee himself acknowledged that “the reduction of episodes was a foregone conclusion once Netflix dictated” to MRC “that Spacey could not and would not be a part of season 6”. That is, the conduct for which Spacey is sanctioned, the alleged breach of his agreements as an actor and producer for his harassment of crew members, “was not even known by Netflix at the time it took this decision”.
As a result, the damage suffered by MRC as a result of Netflix’s actions, and attributed to Spacey’s alleged actions, had already occurred (circa November 2) before anything was known about the content of his behavior.
The unfair, even absurd, character of the arbitrator’s award points to its politically motivated character. In their November 2021 brief, Spacey’s attorneys argued that annulling the $31 million award “merely requires the Court to apply common sense and basic logic, both of which appear to have been ruled out by the Arbitrator in his effort to avoid risk being seen as siding with Spacey and against the #MeToo movement, and dispensing his own brand of justice.”
The vile American media, devoid of any shred of honesty and decency, has decided that Spacey, one of the most talented artists of his generation, must be sacrificed to appease crazed upper-middle class #MeToo elements wholly indifferent or hostile to the elementals. democratic rights such as the presumption of innocence.