Culture Clips: The ‘House of Cards Indeed’ Edition

Kevin Spacey

For five seasons now, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has starred in Netflix’s buzzy House of Cards. He played a caddish President Francis Underwood who manipulated and murdered his way to power and—if the show’s title means anything at all—would’ve someday been laid low by his own misdeeds.

We may never see Underwood’s comeuppance come to pass, ironically, because Spacey’s own alleged misdeeds has sent the actor’s own career a-tumbling.

Actor Anthony Rapp says the actor sexually harassed him when Rapp was just 14. (Spacey was allegedly 26 and drunk at the time.) In a statement, Spacey said he had no recollection of the incident, apologized profusely if it did happen, and announced that he chooses “now to live as a gay man,” an apparent effort, some said to use the LGBT movement as a shield. It didn’t work. Spacey’s since come under withering criticism. Netflix reacted to the controversy by announcing that House of Cards’ sixth season would be its last, then went a step further and said it was suspending production entirely. (Still, Netflix seems reluctant to say farewell to the franchise entirely: It’s apparently exploring the possibility of a spinoff.)

But frankly, it feels as though the issue of harassment could bring down much of entertainment industry like a house of cards. Allegations upon allegations upon more allegations are piling up in the newsosphere, so many that it’s becoming difficult to keep track of them all.

Meanwhile Producer Harvey Weinstein, the guy whose misdeeds started this avalanche of revelations, has been banned for life by the Producers Guild of America. He and director James Toback (the latter whose accusers number in the hundreds) are now being investigated by the police. And the Motion Picture Academy is apparently creating a code of conduct to help prevent these sorts of stories.

But lest we point at Hollywood’s lechery with too a judgmental finger, Relevant calls the Church on the carpet, too—suggesting that Hollywood has been far harder on its miscreants than we have been on our own. “Why do we tolerate, and at times seemingly dismiss, such abhorrent behavior in the Evangelical church?” asks author Brandon W. Peach.

While Kevin Spacey’s “coming out” moment didn’t go over particularly well, the Disney channel is hoping for a better reaction to a fictional coming-out story—this one on its popular coming-of-age sitcom Andi Mack. “‘Andi Mack’ is a story about tweens figuring out who they are,” Disney Channel said in a statement. “Everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity.”

Speaking of humanity, Saudi Arabia recently gave a robot citizenship—a move met with quite a bit of criticism, considering the lack of rights real flesh-and-blood women have there. Even weirder: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to build a city completely staffed with robots. So.

But why wait for the future to worry about technology, right? Hacked devices are obviously a problem, and NBC News issued a probably unnecessary reminder that such devices can spy on you.  But some devices are designed to spy on you: The Google Home speaker apparently records pretty much everything its owners say around it. The MoviePass, a startup that proposes to give users the ability to walk into any movie for a low, low monthly rate, plans to make a profit by gathering data on its users and selling the info to businesses. And then there’s the newly unveiled Amazon key, which’ll allow delivery folks to walk into your house, deliver your packages and … nothing else?

But technology has its uses, too. AI algorithms have proven more effective than doctors in diagnosing Alzheimer’s, and The Daily Beast reports on a machine that might just be able to tell if you’re suicidal. Oh, and another AI bot just may be horror’s next Stephen King.

But at least King, if he is going to be replaced by a bot one day, can go out on top. IT, the movie based on his bestselling 1986 book of the same name, helped make 2017 the best year for horror movies ever. (At least for the moment.)

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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