Unused Shows Cost Netflix $39 Million After Kevin Spacey Scandal

Netflix Subscriptions Surge Despite Price Hike

Netflix Inc. is lifting the curtain on just how much the sexual harassment controversy is going to cost Hollywood.

The company recorded a $39 million non-cash charge in the fourth quarter, writing down unreleased material. While the streaming-video giant didn’t provide details of what that included, production of Kevin Spacey’s “House of Cards” was postponed in November after the actor became embroiled in scandal, and he was eventually fired.

Spacey’s Gore Vidal biopic with Netflix was also canceled, and the company decided that month not to go forward with a second stand-up special with comedian Louis CK for similar reasons.

The scandal has hit plenty of others in Hollywood. Imperative Entertainment LLC spent $10 million to reshoot “All the Money in the World” with a new actor to replace Spacey, the star of the film.

Even with the charge, Netflix had a blow-out quarter for subscriber growth, so investors were able to shrug it off. But the industry is looking for ways to avoid such costs in the future, asking talent to include clauses in their contracts pledging to behave themselves and buying insurance to cover damages in these situations.

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