From Robert Gehl: For the city of Baltimore, House of Cards was an economic boon. But Hollywood giveth, and Hollywood taketh away…
The popular Netflix show was filmed primarily in the city and its surrouding areas; for the fourth season, nearly 2,700 cast, crew and other contractors and support were hired during production. They came from more than 2,000 local Maryland vendors.
The series on the streaming service chalked up more than $128 million in revenue from the 2015 season – more than $500 million during the entire series run.
House of Cards was the largest film production in the state and Maryland was proud to have the business – and the thousands of jobs it brings.
But that all is coming crashing down with allegations about star Kevin Spacey’s possibly criminal sexual behavior. So far, 13 men have come out and accused Spacey of sexual misconduct over the last 30 years, ranging from when they were very young to adults.
Baltimore is a big city with a diversified economy, but even a city as big as Baltimore can’t hide the hurt from the loss of an industry that pumped in so much money and so many jobs.
And the worst part hasn’t come yet. The Baltimore Sun reports:
The “House of Cards” crew is still getting paid through the suspension of the show’s sixth season, a source close to production confirmed Tuesday, but local vendors are already feeling the loss of a deep-pocketed customer and the cachet of being associated with a hit series.
Production company Media Rights Capital is paying the show’s crew while on hiatus, sources confirmed, but could not detail how much or for how long. Officials with Media Rights Capital would not comment on this matter.
Following the allegations, Netflix announced the indefinite suspension of the show’s final season. This came just days after the first allegation came out from actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged that Spacey made sexual advances toward him in the 1980s, when he was only 14 years old.
Since then, several men, including former “House of Cards” production assistant and actor Harry Dreyfuss, son of thespian Richard Dreyfuss, have also made sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey.
Last week, Netflix and Media Rights Capital announced that Spacey – who plays a manipulative powerful man who uses his position to take advantage of people – had been fired.
How ironic that the House of Cards collapses so quickly and all due to the selfish hypocrisy of one man.
Caterers and fast-food restaurants, carpet and furniture outlets, music and antique stores, warehouses, auto parts dealers and paint suppliers — all are included among the show’s hundreds of Maryland vendors during more than five years of filming, often in and around Baltimore, at locations including the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Baltimore Sun.
2018 is going to be a struggle for what John Quincy Adams once called the “Monumental City.”
What do you think? Can the city recover? Sound off below!