Shunned actor Kevin Spacey has officially been dropped from his major Netflix series, House of Cards, and the final season will be shorter, it has been announced by Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos.
The actor was accused of sexual misconduct by Anthony Rapp, with the alleged events dating from when the Star Trek: Discovery actor was just 14 years old. This was followed by another raft of sexual assault allegations dating to his time in working on House of Cards.
Spacey then released a statement expressing his 'sincerest apology', and also took the opportunity to announce that he is gay - a move that many thought insensitive to the LGBTQ community and designed to distract from the claims made against him.
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Sarandos explained that the show's sixth season (which had already been announced as the final series) will go ahead, but will run with just eight episodes - down from the usual 13.
Sarandos also said that Robin Wright will star in the concluding season, upgrading her role of Claire Underwood - the spouse of Frank Underwood, the politican formerly portrayed by Spacey - to a much more central role.
Media Rights Capital (MRC), the production company behind the award-winning show, initially announced that they were suspending the actor, an action that many speculated was necessary to precede an eventual termination of his contract.
Netflix had also already cut ties with Spacey in November, and released a statement confirming that he would not feature in any future episodes of the hit show.
It said: "Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey.
"We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show."
Director Ridley Scott also removed Spacey from the upcoming film All the Money in the World, instead giving his part to Christopher Plummer.
When the allegations surfaced the political thriller had been filming its sixth season, but production was halted. However, it's still not been revealed if the final House of Cards season will still be returning in 2018 - though the reduction in episodes should make things easier for the producers.
Given that it's one of Netflix's biggest shows, the online streaming site will also no doubt be desperately scrambling to replace the show with something equally as high profile, as fast as they can after its final season airs.
Featured Image Credit: House of Cards / Netflix