|Actor Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood|
This follows a series of allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault leveled against the actor from various House of Cards male crew, former colleagues and actor Anthony Rapp, who made public last weekend complaints that Spacey made inappropriate advances on him when Rapp was 14 (and Spacey was 26.)
It also follows the maelstrom that has erupted across Hollywood recently in response to allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other powerful straight men.
For a country that heard gross admissions of sexual assault and harassment from Donald Trump, but then proceeded to "elect" him anyway over a more qualified woman, these recent developments are a minor step in the right direction. We have to continue to fight to make sure all sexual predators, straight or queer, pay for their behaviour (that means that Trump must be tossed out on his ass in 2020 if not sooner). It's nice to see that the immense bravery it takes to come forward with allegations like these is being partially rewarded with some major professional consequences for those who clearly seem, due to the mere volume of complaints, to be far from innocent. That's heartening.
This article this week by writer Natasha Chart proved to be one of the best articles on the connection between sexism and homophobia I've ever read. I recommend it highly.
But back to Kevin Spacey and 'House of Cards.' Please allow me a bit of glee at Spacey's demise from the increasingly tiresome show. This was a show that since Season 3 or 4 (of six) has become incredibly annoying, ditching any pretense for realism in favour of the repeated formula that went something like this: "Let's introduce weak adversaries for Frank, let them annoy him for an episode or two, then let Frank flick them away like dust off his lapel only to become stronger and even more powerful than before. Repeat."
It wasn't good writing the last three seasons, it was bullshit. No politician has ever experienced the kind of uninterrupted climb to immense power as Frank Underwood. And to get there, Underwood killed at least two people. Furthermore, his wife Claire joined the murderous club last season just before the heavy-handed writers made her President of the U.S.
I've been watching 'House of Cards' since the first season but have been disappointed since Season 3. I stopped watching mid-way through Season 6 when it became clear the writers were taking delight in deceptively teasing us with the continued hope that Underwood and his wife would finally pay in any major way for their crimes. In life, that kind of evil should face consequences, but so rarely does. The last thing I need is to experience dramatized and exploited evil in my entertainment. I'm kind of sensitive that way.
That's why I've also refused to watch the celebration of misogyny and violence against women that is "Game of Thrones." Other sadists may love that shit, but not me. (In a culture that adores such entertainment, is it any wonder that sexual harassment and violence against women remain such problems?)
Who could have foretold that Frank Underwood's demise would be due to the complaints of one man? Anthony Rapp is my new hero.