Netflix has announced a write-down of US$39 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, largely due to two projects involving Kevin Spacey, who is under investigation by police following recent accusations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.
Netflix said the charge, disclosed in its fourth-quarter earnings report, was related to “unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with.”
Spacey is one of the key figures in the entertainment business to be accused of sexual misconduct by people coming forward in the wake of allegations against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. More than 30 men have accused Spacey of sexual misconduct.
Following the claims, Spacey issued a statement saying that he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.”
The Netflix charge was one of the first public signs of financial cost to a studio or production company following allegations of sexual misconduct against an individual.
The feature film Gore, the uncompleted Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey, has been dropped from the streaming service.
Deadline reports that while Netflix didn’t “specify the exact causes of the accounting move” during its fourth-quarter earnings presentation on Jan. 2, “a source familiar with the accounting for the quarter later confirmed… that the write-down accounted for the final episodes of House of Cards as well as the feature film Gore.”
In a post-earnings webcast, Netflix chief financial officer David Wells said that while write-downs happened regularly, “we just hadn’t had one of this magnitude and related to the societal reset around sexual harassment.”
—With files from Reuters