Entertainment News

‘House of Cards’ employees accuse Kevin Spacey of misconduct on set, producers to investigate

Producer Media Rights Capital also confirmed that Spacey had been accused of sexual harassment by a member of the crew in 2012.

House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital said on Friday it would investigate fresh allegations of sexual harassment against Kevin Spacey by his colleagues on the show, the Hollywood Reporter said. Eight employees of the Netflix series had accused Spacey of sexual misconduct on the sets of the show in a CNN report on Wednesday.

Media Rights Capital has also announced that it has set up an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counsellers and sexual harassment legal advisers for the show’s crew. “We are deeply troubled to learn about these new allegations that are being made to the press concerning Kevin Spacey’s interaction with members of the crew of House of Cards,” the company said a statement. “As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority.”

The company confirmed that Spacey had been accused of sexual harassment by a crew member in 2012. “Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved,” it said in a statement. “Mr Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr Spacey.”

Spacey was earlier accused of sexual harassment by Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who detailed a 1986 incident in a Buzzfeed article on October 30. Spacey had tweeted his “sincerest apology” to Rapp and in the same statement, had come out as gay, a move that met with much criticism. Netflix executives had announced on October 31 that the production on the sixth and final season of House of Cards had been discontinued in the light of the allegations against Spacey.

Netflix also issued a statement on Thursday addressing the latest claims of sexual harassment against Spacey: “Netflix is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set. We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment.”

The Academy Award-winning actor’s spokesperson said on Wednesday that he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”. Spacey’s supporting actor Oscar campaign for Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World has also been cancelled, Variety reported. Talent agency CAA and Polaris publicist Staci Wolfe also parted ways with the actor in the wake of the allegations, Deadline reported.

Meanwhile, producer Brett Ratner has filed a libel suit against former employee of the Endeavor Talent Agency Melanie Kolher, who has accused him of raping her. The accusations against Spacey and Ratner follow multiple allegations of sexual harassment against producer Harvey Weinstein, who has since been ousted from the film studio he co-founded and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

After making making every movie in his career for production companies owned by Weinstein, director Quentin Tarantino is now looking for a different studio to make his ninth film, reports said on Tuesday.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.