Kevin Spacey’s Tone-Deaf ‘Frank Underwood’ Video Got 6 Million Views in 2 Days

Actor’s “ridiculous” video is a terrible PR strategy, crisis management expert tells TheWrap

Last Updated: December 26, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

Kevin Spacey’s strange video revival of Frank Underwood racked up millions of views by midday Wednesday, two days after the disgraced star indirectly responded to sexual misconduct allegations by tapping into his “House of Cards” lead role.

The video, titled “Let Me Be Frank,” pulled in 4.5-million views on YouTube in the 24 hours after it was posted on Monday — the same day it was announced Spacey would be charged with felony indecent assault and battery against a teenage boy. Spacey, in character as the cutthroat senator, picked up another 2-million views over Christmas, hitting 6.6-million views on Wednesday.

“You trusted me even though you knew you shouldn’t,” Spacey says in the video, shot as he putters around a kitchen. “So we’re not done, no matter what anyone says. And besides, I know what you want. You want me back.”

Spacey’s Christmas Eve clip might have grabbed millions of viewers already, but it still falls short of being the most-viewed self-posted video. You might remember “Chewbacca Mom,” who pulled in more than 150-million views in the first day her video was posted back in 2016, according to CBS News.

Google, YouTube’s parent company, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on how Spacey’s video compares to other viral videos in recent years.

The video — which draws meta parallels between Spacey’s downfall and Underwood’s — is notable for the lack of remorse and defiant tone. If it is an attempt at a comeback, it is one of the most brazen — and potentially tone-deaf — since the start of #MeToo.

Spacey, while directly looking at the camera, mirrored his “House of Cards” character, who routinely broke the fourth wall to address his viewers.

“Of course, some believe everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” he continued. “They’re just dying to hear me say that everything is true and I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t that be easy?”

He added: “You wouldn’t believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn’t rush to judgment without facts, would you? Did you? No not you. You’re smarter than that.”

No matter how many views the video gets, though, it was still a foolish move, according to Evan Nierman, founder of crisis PR firm Red Banyan.

“On its face, it’s a totally ridiculous PR strategy,” Nierman told TheWrap. “[Employing] the character of a murderer in order to clear your name as an accused rapist and child molester.”

Spacey will be arraigned at Nantucket District Court on Jan. 7, 2019.

Itay Hod and Tim Molloy contributed to this report. 

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