“As we walk into 2020 I want to cast my vote for more good in this world,” former House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey announced in an Instagram post for his latest (bizarre) Christmas video. But it wasn’t Kevin Spacey, it was his former, deceased Netflix character, Frank Underwood giving the holiday speech.
On Christmas Eve, Spacey resurrected his formerly (deceased) character from the Netflix Original Series, bringing in Underwood persona, with Southern accent and all.
“You didn’t really think I was going to miss the opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, did you?” Spacey said in the beginning of the clip as he sat alongside a burning fire while wearing a festive holiday sweater.
What’s bizarre is that this clip comes two days short of a year after Spacey’s 2018 holiday video, which alluded to the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him, which Spacey has denied from the get-go.
“I mean, if you and I have learned nothing else these past years it’s that in life and art nothing should be off the table,” Spacey, wearing his festive apron said in his 2018 video. “We weren’t afraid, not of what we said, not of what we did, and we’re still not afraid. Because I can promise you this: If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”
Bye Bye Frank Underwood
Spacey was dropped from what would be the House of Cards final season after being charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping an 18-year-old man back in 2016, which turned into several other accusations against the actor to surface. However, as of July, the charges were dropped as the case could not proceed “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”
Apparently, the man who accused Spacey of groping him invoked his Fifth Amendment rights at a hearing centered on the deletion of text messages on his phone. This jeopardized the case against Spacey, forcing the court to dismiss the case due to the lack of the testimony that would be used against the actor’s role in the deletion of certain text messages.
But here are some of my questions:
(1) Why make a video resurrecting the [SPOILER ALERT]……….deceased series character?
It’s clear that in Spacey’s world, Underwood will never die. And if the public won’t take Spacey (as Spacey) seriously, then the only other way to reach people would be through his Underwood persona?
But again, why a video? Why not some other mechanism for the actor to attempt to remedy the damage that has already been done?
(2) From a legal standpoint, was Spacey within his right to use his Netflix-owned character persona?
Phrased differently, what legal protection is available, if any, for an individual using a fictional television character for a public and private use?
And to be honest, I think that’s a pretty good question. Arguably, wouldn’t Netflix own the intellectual property rights behind the Frank Underwood character which is property of House of Cards?
Or is there not enough “likeness” contained in the video that could possibly infringe upon the House of Cards character?
Technically, Spacey is using the character’s likeness to reach out to the public, and it’s evident the public immediately associates the video and message to be that of the “Frank Underwood” persona.
A question for another time which I will put into a much deeper context for you.
“It’s been a pretty good year and I’m grateful to have my health back and in light of that I’ve made some changes in my life and I’d like to invite you to join me,” Spacey continues before introducing a wish he has for the new year.
The actor goes on to share, “Ah yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Could he be serious?’ I’m dead serious and it’s not that hard trust me.”
“The next time someone does something you don’t like you can go on the attack but you can also hold your fire and do the unexpected, you can kill them with kindness,” Spacey proposed as the video concludes with creepy music and a close-up of him poking at the fire.