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Thursday October 22nd, 2020 8:14AM

University of Missouri apologizes for 'House of Cards' email

By The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri has apologized for referencing the Netflix show "House of Cards" while advertising an internship opportunity after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced about the show's star, Kevin Spacey.

The university sent an email Wednesday about the internship opportunity that said: "Experience the real life 'House of Cards!'" The message was also posted on a university webpage, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported .

The show depicts corruption, sex and murder in politics in Washington. Democratic state Rep. Martha Stevens of Columbia said she found the comparison insulting.

The reference was used in an attempt to make a pop-culture connection for students, said Christian Basi, a spokesman for the university's Office of Service Learning. Basi said the line was removed from the school webpage but the email can't be recalled.

"We realize that this headline is in poor taste," Basi said. "The item has been removed from website and edited and won't appear again. And we have been in contact with several legislators to express our apology and explain."

The reference also recalls recent issues in the Missouri General Assembly. In 2015, Democratic Sen. Paul LeVota stepped down after allegations he sexually harassed interns and Republican House Speaker John Diehl left office after admitting he sent sexually suggestive texts to an intern.

The Missouri House has since made changes to its harassment policy, such as including mandatory sexual harassment training for all members and staff each year.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood, actor Anthony Rapp alleged Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey has said he doesn't remember the alleged encounter reported by BuzzFeed News last weekend but apologized if such "drunken behavior" occurred. Netflix later halted production of "House of Cards."

___

Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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